I immediately thought of Mike Kinsley's old column, "What The Helga?", but TNR doesn't have it online. But searching for it did produce this little 1987 gem from Bob Hughes. Money quote:
The time is past when one could dismiss Wyeth as nothing more that a sentimental illustrator, as critics irked by his popular appeal regularly did a decade or more ago. True, his work is grounded in illustration and often fails to transcend it. Not a few of the images of Helga lying naked on a bed or tramping resolutely through the snow in her Loden coat have the banal neatness of things done for a women's magazine. Some of them, like the technically impressive watercolor In the Orchard, 1974, are as deadly in their "sensitiveness" as greeting cards. But there are some fine drawings here, moments of vision caught with attentiveness and precision, that have a lot more visual oomph than the more laboriously finished works. And two or three of the paintings are marvels of iconic condensation. Like a good second-rate novelist who can rise to first-rate episodes, Wyeth can surprise you.
(Photo: Long Limb, by Wyeth.)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.