About the Exhibition
In celebration of the recent gift of Andrew Wyeth’s Wind from the Sea (1947)—one of the artist’s most important paintings—the National Gallery of Art, Washington, will present an exhibition focused on Wyeth’s frequent use of the window as the subject of his art. Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In will showcase some 60 watercolors, drawings, and tempera paintings completed after Wind from the Sea—the artist’s first fully realized exploration of the theme.
Wyeth returned to windows repeatedly, producing more than 300 works that explore not only the formal but also the conceptual richness of the subject. Spare, elegant, and abstract, these paintings are free of the narrative element associated with the artist’s better-known figural compositions. They will be grouped in suites, incorporating related works that explore the disciplined process of reduction and simplification Wyeth consistently used in creating his window paintings. The resulting images are often rigorous in their formal construction but deeply personal in subject.
The exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Art, will be seen only in Washington.
Wind from the Sea (1947) captures a moment on a hot summer day when Wyeth opened the seldom used window in an attic room. The picture is eerily alive with movement as the wind blows the curtains into the room. The tattered, transparent fabric is light and airy, with small embroidered birds along the edges that seem ready to dart into the house. In contrast, the sun-bleached wooden window sill looks sturdy and solid. Two well-worn tire tracks running across the dirt lead the viewer's eye toward the sea in the distance. The close vantage point and the tightly cropped window frame at the edge of the painting create the illusion that the viewer is actually looking out a window.
An iconic Wyeth landscape, Wind from the Sea is one of the earliest examples of his use of windows as a recurring subject in his art.
- 18.75 x 27.5 inches (image), 24 x 31 inches (poster)