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 John W (II) McCoy  (1910 - 1989)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/California      Known for: landscape, portrait, botanics

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John W (II) McCoy
from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John McCoy was born into a patriarchal family of businessmen, a tradition he determined to break to follow his passion for art. He became a friend of Andrew Wyeth at his father's Chadds Ford studio, and the two men liked and admired each other, and often painted together.

A painter who embraces abstraction, realism, modernism, and tradition, John McCoy married N. C. Wyeth's daughter, Ann Wyeth, and, until his death in 1989, they lived near the Wyeth family home at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. In realist style, he painted the surrounding landscape and the coast of Maine where the family vacationed. From 1946 to 1961, he taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

He earned a degree in Fine arts at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and later studied at the Beaux-Art-School in Fontainebleau, France, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia as well as with N.C. Wyeth. By the 1950s, McCoy had also developed an interest in the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Jackson Pollock, and began experimenting with mixed media and pouring, dripping, and floating paint on canvas.

The book, John McCoy, an American Painter, by Anna McCoy with commentary by Andrew Wyeth, tells of McCoy's struggle for an independent creative voice and his determination to reduce painting to its essence.

The year 2001 had two major exhibitions of John McCoy's work: the Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland, Maine) and the Biggs Museum of American Art (Dover, Delaware).

Artist Statement:

"What I'm trying to do is report what I see and feel about people and nature-and we are part of the same scheme. I know that you may hate your neighbor or you may love your neighbor, but there is a tension between and there is always a tension between things in nature. That is what makes painting interesting. That's why my painting is what I try to make it about."

Biography from Gallery West:
John McCoy was born in Pihole, California. He studied art at Cornell University and was a student of N.C. Wyeth. McCoy was married to Wyeth's daughter Ann. One of America's most noted watercolor artists, McCoy taught at the Pennsylvania Academy from 1947 to 1970. His work is displayed at the Brandywine River Museum in Pennsylvania.

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