Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death - Exhibitions
Skip to content

Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death

Tanya Sheehan, with Karen Baumgartner, Rachael Z. DeLue, and Alexander Nemerov.

Hardcover, 8.25 x 10.25 in., 144 pp.


Co-published with Delmonico Books

Corresponding Exhibition: Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death

This volume presents a recently rediscovered series of pencil drawings from the early 1990s, through which American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009) imagined his own funeral. Chapters by leading art historians explore the significance of picturing one’s own death in both the context of Wyeth’s late career and contemporary American art. The book connects the funeral series to Wyeth’s decades-long engagement with death as an artistic subject in painting, his relationships with the models depicted, and his use of drawing as an expressive and exploratory medium. It further inserts Wyeth’s work into a larger conversation about mortality and self-portraiture that developed in American art since the 1960s, and includes works by Duane Michals, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, George Tooker, Janaina Tschäpe and Mario Moore. While his contemporaries posed a variety of existential questions in picturing their own passing, those that interrogate the universality of death as a human experience have become especially urgent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the national reckoning with racial inequality that emerged in 2020. Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death thus addresses ideas about loss, grief, vulnerability and (im)mortality that pervade the current moment.