Wyeth Autobiography, Vol. 1
Wyeth’s ‘Around the Corner’
artistic characteristic of Andrew Wyeth is his ability to find beauty
in the apparently mundane, in what would be typically considered commonplace.
He was fittingly dubbed a “painter of the people”. His work
titled Around the Corner is a simple, peaceful scene, showing the side
of a white house hemmed in by a lush garden of flowers on two sides. It
boasts Wyeth’s unique skill at bringing out the best out of the
ordinary, and injecting it with sensation. A simple church steeple can
be seen in the distance.
Wyeth’s Around the Corner presents a juxtaposition of colour and
shadow, with the pristine, almost-blinding whiteness of the house contrasted
against the dark garden on the right side. Viewers feel that they are
standing in front of the house, and the sun reflecting off its side could
cause them to shield their eyes against the brilliance. The artist’s
talented technique manages to draw them directly into the scene.
An interesting aspect found in Around the Corner is Wyeth’s depiction
of the garden flowers. The ones located in front of the house are meticulously
detailed and easy to recognize, but the ones at the edge of the house
blend into one another, forming a mass of petals and color, possessing
no distinguishable qualities. Viewers are left speculating on Wyeth’s
intention; perhaps he meant to create apprehension. Is there really a
sweet-smelling garden amidst the shadows around the corner?
Andrew Wyeth manipulates time, light, space and form in his painting Around
the Corner. With his clever use of light and shadow, viewers are able
to guess at the time of day; however, that is not the case with form and
space. Since the right side of the work is lost in shadow, we cannot determine
the layout of the land beyond or its extent. Although one prominent tall
tree and the church are visible in the distance, the space in the darkness
could in fact be any type of landscape, from a valley to a wheat field.
examining the shadows on the house, an additional
intriguing phenomenon occurs. One can conclude
that the sun hits the structure from the right-hand
side, yet that side of the painting is encased
in shadow. Again, Wyeth’s wish may have
been to keep his viewers guessing at what exists
just around the corner.
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