Andrew Wyeth - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "I think one's art goes as far and as deep as one's love goes. I see no reason for painting but that. If I have anything to offer, it is my emotional contact with the place where I live and the people I do."
    —Andrew Wyeth
    A striking work executed in 1949, Loon Drake (Loon) expressively depicts one of Andrew Wyeth’s most well-known subjects—the natural beauty of Maine’s landscape and wildlife. Widely recognized as the premier American realist painter of the 20th Century, Wyeth dedicated his artistic career to depicting the everyday life and surroundings of New England. Inspired by his visit to the summer home of Dr. Margaret Irving Handy, a family friend and pediatrician to his two sons, Jamie and Nicholas, Wyeth produced the present work, as well as a sensitive portrait of the Doctor, during his visit to Onawa, Maine in 1949. The previous year, Wyeth created what is perhaps his most iconic work, Christina’s World, which was acquired shortly after it was painted by the The Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

     

    Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World, 1948, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image: © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Andrew Wyeth / Artists Rights Society, New York

     

    Atop a simplified horizon line, Wyeth’s loon stands tall with its gaze tilted upwards, appearing larger than life and commanding the presence of one of the artist’s portrait subjects. The bold, painterly execution of the bird’s spotted plumage contrasts with the minimalist, ethereal background of Maine’s rugged landscape, giving the work a modern air while its elements render a timeless spirit—at times recalling Albrecht Dürer’s lifelike details in the famous Young Hare (1502); at others resembling the elusive, contemplative ink paintings from China or Japan. A quintessential and intimate example of Wyeth’s nature-inspired oeuvre, the present work embraces the beauty of simplicity in its subject matter, all the while showcasing the painter’s unique sophistication and his artistic prowess.

     

    Andrew Wyeth, Children’s Doctor, 1949. © 2018 Andrew Wyeth / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Albrecht Dürer, Hare, 1502; watercolor and gouache, brush, heightened with white gouache © The Albertina Museum, Vienna
    • Provenance

      The du Pont Family, Wilmington
      Thence by descent to the present owner

Property from the Du Pont Family, Wilmington, Delaware

153

Loon Drake (Loon)

signed and dated “Andrew Wyeth August 1949” lower right
gouache and watercolor on paper
19 x 24 3/4 in. (48.3 x 62.9 cm)
Executed in 1949, this work will be included in Betsy James Wyeth’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $113,400

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022