Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In — NO TOFU
Originally published at NO TOFU
To mark the acquisition of Andrew Wyeth’s 1947 painting Wind From the Sea, the National Gallery of Art is currently hosting the first Wyeth exhibit to focus on his work with windows. Looking Out, Looking In showcases a selection of paintings, each featuring the view through a window.
Wyeth’s paintings with windows are particularly powerful. Upon initial observation, the subtle and delicate detailing catches the eye. The way the curtains blow in on the breeze or the grains in the aged wood of the windowsill are beautifully done, calling to mind a relaxing spring day on a farm. But the calm is momentary, as the outsider nature of the works become evident. The viewer is always observing something just out of reach on the other side of a pane of glass, adding an interesting further element of voyeurism.
The tension just below the surface of the quiet, rural setting creeps up on the viewer, along with the sense of always being removed from the true focus of the work. The stark interior of a room frames the charming greenery of the country outside. Shadows darken the exterior of an imposing building with a high, unreachable window. In Room in the Mirror (1948), the shades are drawn and the only thing we can see is the reflection of the room in which one feels immediately trapped. The selected works play with complex emotions and desires using simple subjects and juxtaposition.
Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In is now on view at the National Gallery of Art, and runs through November 30.