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Introduction to the Exhibition: Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In

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 presents an exhibition focused on Wyeth’s first full realization in tempera of the window as a recurring subject in his art. Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In presents some 60 watercolors, drawings, and tempera paintings completed after Wind from the Sea. In honor of the exhibition opening on May 4, 2014, curators Nancy K. Anderson and Charles Brock discuss Wyeth’s fascination with windows. During his long and productive career, the artist created more than 300 remarkable works that explore the formal and conceptual aspects of looking both in and out of windows. Spare, elegant, and abstract, these paintings are free of the narrative element inevitably associated with his better-known figural compositions. In the exhibition, works are grouped in suites of related images, illustrating the disciplined process of reduction and simplification that 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 on view only in Washington through November 30, 2014.