image by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe
I grew up with this guy. Almost. I grew up viewing his work in the local museum. The Holly and Arthur Magill Collection provided a great sampling of his paintings as a continuous exhibition at the Greenville County Museum of Art in SC from 1978 - 1989. (link)
As a child, going to see art meant going to the GCM and viewing the Wyeth exhibit and the growing Contemporary Art collection. I enjoyed Wyeth's work. It was quiet and it seemed calm but there was something unnerving about it. Something secretive. It is this idea that there's something just below the surface that has not been revealed that continues to keep my interest in his paintings.
Critics of Wyeth may argue that he was an illustrator or a decorative painter, and not a fine artist. It seems to me that one of his strengths was his ability to refrain from connecting all the dots for the viewer in terms of the concepts in his work. I don't think it was ever just a barn or just a woman. There was always something more. Something he wasn't telling us.
Maybe what the artist doesn't say can be the most important thing.