Andrew Wyeth, a painter both celebrated and scorned in the art community, has died at 91 at his home outside Philadelphia. In his paintings, the “polarizing” figure depicted a rural America of fallow fields, faded colors, and weather-beaten people, writes Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times. He was vastly popular with the public while critics generally attacked him, “saying he gave realism a bad name.” His painting Christina’s World, however, was iconic.
Wyeth came from a family of artists in rural Pennsylvania, including his famed illustrator father, N.C. The younger Wyeth's first show was in 1936. Christina’s World, in which a disabled woman pulls herself across a field, made him famous, though he considered it a "complete flat tire" upon completion. By the 1980s, his paintings were selling for millions. “I think the great weakness in most of my work is subject matter," Wyeth once said. "There’s too much of it."