During World War II American artists recast the terms of landscape painting as it had been practiced in the 1930s, broadening its scope from the local to the international, and from the pastoral to the anti-pastoral. Many, including Andrew Wyeth, adopted oblique visual languages both to evoke the devastated landscape and to accommodate to the nation’s increased reliance on the camera and eye-witness testimony to bring the realities of World War II home. I argue that during the war Wyeth executed several paintings of his surrounding landscape haunted not only by complex interpersonal dynamics but also by World War II.
Cécile Whiting is Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Art History and the Graduate Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She specializes in the history of American art with a focus on the mid twentieth century. Her Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the 1960s (University of California Press), was awarded the 2009 Charles C. Eldredge Prize from the Smithsonian Institution for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art.
Organised by Professor David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld)