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Like Andrew Wyeth, Robert Vickrey (b. 1926) paints in a realistic style and uses egg tempera, one of the oldest and most difficult of painting media. After military service, college, and graduation from Yale's Art School, where he felt pressured by the abstraction of Joseph Albers, in 1950, Vickrey enjoyed some success (e.g., Whitney Museum Annuals) but continued on his own path as abstract expressionism ruled the art world. Well known for many cover illustrations for Time magazine in the 1950s and 1960s and commercially successful, Vickrey has concentrated on figural painting, with recurring themes of family and a long series of nuns in habits. Centered in New England, where he lives, his work has a surreal edge at times that is lacking in realists such as Norman Rockwell. Eliasoph (American art, Fairfield Univ.) has done extensive research and had direct access to the artist, who is articulate and unapologetic about his work, but there is little critical distance in the text, and the writing is pedestrian. The illustrations are excellent, but Vickrey is an artist of limited range and interest. For advanced collections.
—Jack Perry Brown