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Groundhog Day

Andrew Newell Wyeth (American, 1917–2009)

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.”

Object Details

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