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Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Around the Corner’

Around the Corner


A distinguishing 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.

The House
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.

The Flowers
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?

The Shadows
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.

When 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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