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Groundhog Day

Andrew Newell Wyeth, American, 1917 - 2009

Geography:
Made in Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1959

Medium:
Tempera on panel

Dimensions:
31 3/8 × 32 1/8 inches (79.7 × 81.6 cm) Framed: 39 x 39 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (99.1 x 100.6 x 4.4 cm)

Copyright:
© Andrew Wyeth

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1959-102-1

Credit Line:
Gift of Henry F. du Pont and Mrs. John Wintersteen, 1959

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Andrew Wyeth shared the realist approach of many mid-twentieth-century painters of the American scene, although his process of simplification and synthesis often led to haunting, surrealist effects. His picture of his neighbor Karl Kuerner’s light-filled kitchen holds an air of something missing. Wyeth explained that the painting was about “the winter light, the dishes ready for Karl Kuerner’s lunch—that is, peace, yes, but to me behind it is violence suppressed.”

The snarling log outside the window, like the knife on the table, connected in the artist’s mind to Kuerner’s wartime experience, his violent dog, and his strong hand on the entire farm. Said Wyeth, “I wanted to get down to the very essence of the man who wasn’t there.”