Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009

Andrew Wyeth, aged 91, died in his sleep this morning. Which I think is as much as any of us can ask for. Here’s a link to the story:

Andrew Wyeth, American Painter, Dies At 91

There’s kind of a remarkable quote from Wyeth hiding in the middle of the story. It goes:

Much of Wyeth’s work had a melancholy feel _ aging people and brown, dead plants _ but he chose to describe his work as “thoughtful.”

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future _ the timelessness of the rocks and the hills _ all the people who have existed there,” he once said. “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape _ the loneliness of it _ the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.

“I think anything like that _ which is contemplative, silent, shows a person alone _ people always feel is sad. Is it because we’ve lost the art of being alone?”

Hopper and Wyeth, in my mind, seem interconnected…both painters of empty spaces, time, and solitude, one of the city, the other of the country. Now, in the mind’s eye, one sees “Christina’s World”…but there’s no figure in the foreground. Just the hill, the house in the distance, and a space where the grass has been flattened.