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Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures

August 8 - September 19, 2004

 

The highest profile exhibition ever brought to Canton, Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, presents 70 works on display at the Canton Museum of Art from August 8 to September 19, 2004. The exhibit includes finished paintings in tempera and drybrush, as well as works in watercolor and quick pencil studies. (right: Andrew Wyeth, b. 1917, Braids, 1979, tempera, 16 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches) [1]

The revelation that Wyeth had been secretly working with model Helga Testorf for fifteen years caused a nationwide media fury in the summer of 1986. After debuting in 1987 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. -- the first time the museum featured a living artist -- the exhibition traveled to major institutions in the United States and Japan.

Andrew Wyeth is perhaps the most celebrated American realist painter. Born in 1917, the youngest of five children and son of noted artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth, he works primarily in watercolor and egg tempera. Wyeth's 1948 painting "Christina's World" has become an American icon; transforming a simple rural setting and a young woman into an evocative drama of longing and isolation. He has depicted paupers and Presidents, family and friends, neighbors and landscapes. The Helga series may be Andrew Wyeth's greatest achievement.

From 1971 until 1985, Wyeth undertook a long, intensive study of Helga Testorf. Helga was one of the artist's neighbors in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and Wyeth's private project for these 14 years. He created approximately 240 works -- the volume of work is characteristic in many ways of his approach toward a subject of special interest -- repeated, investigatory and diverse. The way it was created was perhaps less typical. The series was done in nearly complete privacy, without revealing to anyone, the existence of the series, the identity of the model or the extent of the project.

Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures was organized and is being circulated by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., under the auspices of Ann Kendall Richards Nitze and Masami Shiraishi It is being presented in Canton with the support of The Hoover Foundation, the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, The Timken Foundation, GAR Foundation, Chubb, the Deuble Foundation, Diebold, The Repository, the Stark Community Foundation, Innis Maggiore Group, the Ohio Arts Council, the Fund for the Arts, The Volunteer Angels, Canton Fine Arts Associates and Unizan Bank.

 

About International Arts & Artists

International Arts & Artists is a non-profit, comprehensive arts service organization. Founded in 1995, IA&A is using innovative approaches to respond to the needs of the international arts community.

IA&A promotes international and cross-cultural understanding by working with a multitude of museums and cultural institutions, showcasing a wide range of diverse artists, arts movements and cultural programs. IA&A has collaborated with institutions in more than 40 states in the United States and with institutions in France, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Brazil in an effort to make the arts more available to a broad segment of the population.

International Arts & Artists's Traveling Exhibition Service provides large and small institutions with a wide range of thematic and solo exhibitions. [2]

 

Notes

1. RL readers may also enjoy these earlier articles:

2. from the International Arts & Artists website at http://www.artsandartists.org.

 

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