About the Art
"River-delta views from the Sacramento area, cityscapes from San Francisco and beach scenes from Southern California, no matter the subject, these works uniformly attest to the artist’s ability to sensuously manipulate pigment and capture clear light and vibrant color. It is this technical virtuosity, along with the artist’s tongue-in-cheek humor and ability to capture the realities of our place in time, that have helped to make Thiebaud a uniquely American painter."
About the Artist
Wayne Thiebaud (born Mesa, Arizona, November 23, 1920) is an American painter whose most famous works are of cakes, pastries, boots, toilets, toys and lipsticks. His last name is pronounced "Tee-bo." He is associated with the Pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture, however, his works, executed during the fifties and sixties, slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.
His family moved to Long Beach, California when he was six months old. One summer during his high school years he apprenticed at the Walt Disney Studio. He earned a degree from Sacramento State College in 1941. From 1938 to 1949, he worked as a cartoonist and designer in California and New York and served as an artist in the United States Navy.
In 1950, at the age of thirty, he enrolled in Sacramento State where he earned a Master's Degree in 1952 and began teaching at Sacramento City College. In 1960, he became assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, where he remained through the 1970s and influenced numerous artist students. On a leave of absence, he spent time in New York City where he became friends with Willem De Kooning and Franz Kline and was much influenced by these abstractionists as well as proto pop artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. During this time, he began a series of very small paintings based on images of food displayed in windows, and he focused on their basic shapes.