JAMIE WYETH (b. 1946)
A celebrated contemporary realist painter, Jamie Wyeth is also a third-generation artist and member of the famed American artistic dynasty. Though many of his works incorporate subject matter from the Maine coast and his native Brandywine River valley, others are intensely of their time, depicting important individuals and cultural events in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Included among these are portraits of political and entertainment figures including President John F. Kennedy, Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol, and Arnold Schwarzenegger; charcoal drawings that documented the unfolding drama of the Senate Watergate hearings; pictorial reporting of nasa space launches and splashdowns; and imaginative pictures for contemporary novelist Stephen King’s abc-tv miniseries Kingdom Hospital, to name a few. Whether conveying the enduring dignity of domestic animals, the elemental character of birds and wildlife, or the idiosyncratic personalities of his friends and neighbors, Jamie Wyeth’s closely observed works often contemplate the unexpected.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware (near his family home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania), Wyeth spends a substantial portion of his time on the Maine coast, where the landscape and local inhabitants-animal as well as human-serve as subjects for his work. He paints primarily in a combination of mediums, having never developed an affinity for the egg tempera favored by his father. With their compelling images, strong contrasts, and tactile surfaces, Jamie Wyeth’s works are marked with a portrait-like intensity, whether they depict people, animals, architecture, objects, or the continually unfolding interaction between mankind and nature. A major retrospective of Jamie Wyeth’s work occurred in the fall of 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.