By R. Tripp Evans
Wood used to be certainly one of America’s most famed regionalist painters; to like his paintings used to be the similar of loving the United States itself. In his time, he used to be an “almost legendary figure,” famous so much supremely for his hard-boiled farm scene, American Gothic, a portray that has come to mirror the essence of America’s conventional values—a easy, good, homespun tribute to our misplaced agrarian age.
In this significant new biography of America’s so much acclaimed, and misunderstood, regionalist painter, supply wooden is printed to were whatever yet undeniable, or uncomplicated . . .
R. Tripp Evans finds the genuine complexity of the fellow and the picture wooden so rigorously developed of himself. furnish wooden known as himself a farmer-painter yet farming held little curiosity for him. He seemed to be a self-taught painter together with his scenes of farmlands, farm staff, and folklore yet he used to be classically proficient, a worldly artist who had studied the outdated Masters and Flemish artwork in addition to impressionism. He lived a bohemian lifestyles and painted in Paris and Munich within the Nineteen Twenties, fleeing what H. L. Mencken known as “the booboisie” of small-town the US.
We see wooden as an artist haunted and encouraged via the pictures of formative years; by way of the advanced courting along with his father (stern, pious, the “manliest of men”); together with his sister and his cherished mom (Wood shared his studio and napping quarters together with his mom until eventually her demise at seventy-seven; he used to be forty-four).
We see Wood’s homosexuality and the way his studied masculinity used to be a ruse that formed his work.
Here is Wood’s existence and paintings explored extra deeply and insightfully than ever earlier than. Drawing on letters, the artist’s unfinished autobiography, his sister’s writings, and plenty of never-before-seen records, Evans’s booklet is a dimensional portrait of a deeply advanced artist who grew to become a “National Symbol.” it truly is to boot a portrait of the yank paintings scene at a time whilst America’s Calvinistic spirit and provincialism observed Europe as decadent and artists have been divided among red-blooded patriotic males and “hothouse aesthetes.”
Thomas Hart Benton stated of furnish wooden: “When this new the USA appears again for landmarks to assist gauge its ahead footsteps, it's going to discover a monument status up in the course of the wreckage . . . This monument might be produced from furnish Wood’s works.”
From the Hardcover edition.