In 1960, painter Wayne Thiebaud's brilliantly colored images of pies, candy and hot dogs seemed worlds apart from the severe abstractions then fashionable in the serious art world. But when a New York gallerist took a chance on the struggling Californian, his paintings sold like proverbial hot cakes. Today, his canvases hang in the world's great museums, and routinely fetch millions of dollars at auction.
For half a century since, Thiebaud has continued to paint, print and draw, finding an otherworldly beauty in the everyday objects of this world: food, clothing, shoes, tools, city streets. The representational skills he learned as an illustrator and cartoonist in the 1930s and '40s, combined with a keen critical sense and a thorough command of the history and traditions of painting, have given his work a solidity and staying power that transcends the changing tastes of the times.
Wayne Thiebaud has shared his gifts with the world, not only as a working artist, but over a lifetime of teaching, developing the skills and critical faculties of succeeding generations of artists. His paintings, seen firsthand, convey a visceral delight to the beholder, while his works in reproduction have indelibly colored our view of the American landscape.
PICTURED ABOVE: MERINGUES, WAYNE THIEBAUD, 1988 OIL ON CANVAS, © WAYNE THIEBAUD/LICENSED BY VAGA, NEW YORK, NY.