Wayne Thiebaud | 285436 | Page 1
Born in Mesa, Arizonain 1920, Wayne Thiebaud started his career as a commercial artist. From 1938 to1949, he worked as a sign painter, an illustrator, a cartoonist, a publicitymanager and as an artist for Hollywood filmstudios. Thiebaud joined the Air Force in 1942, and spent two years therepainting murals for the army. It is not difficult to detect the influence thatthis commercial experience had on his later paintings attributed to Pop Art;Thiebaud's characteristic work displays consumer objects such as pies and cakesas they are seen in drug store windows. Executed during the fifties andsixties, these works slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists,suggesting that Thiebaud may have had a great influence on the movement.
From 1949 to 1950, Thiebaudstudied at the San Jose State Universityand from 1950 to 1953 at the CaliforniaState Universityin Sacramento.He had his first solo exhibition at the CrockerArt Galleryin Sacramento,and between the years of 1954 and 1957, he produced eleven educational filmsfor which he was awarded the Scholastic Art Prize in 1961. Thiebaud lectured atthe Art Departmentof the Sacramento City Collegeuntil 1959, when he became a professor at the Universityof California in Davis.
Wayne Thiebaud has beenassociated with Pop Art, but has also been seen, due to his true to liferepresentations, as a predecessor of photorealism. Thiebaud uses heavy pigmentand exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadowscharacteristic of advertisements are almost always included. Objects aresimplified into basic units but appear varied using seemingly minimal means;one influence on Thiebaud's still life paintings may be Giorgio Morandi, whosecontemplative, palpable and delicate works share many characteristics withthose of Thiebaud. Today, Wayne Thiebaud lives and works in California.