Series

Cakes

16 available

Wayne Thiebaud is best known for depicting rows and rows of candy-colored frosted cakes, each with different layers, heights, shapes, and decorations. The Pop artist typically paints cakes, pastries, and pies from memory, evoking nostalgia for mid-20th-century American diner culture and his adolescent days spent working in restaurants. But Thiebaud never expected his confectionary paintings and prints to become icons of American art. “Look, a row of pies—that’ll be the end of me trying to be a serious artist,” he remembers thinking. “But I couldn’t leave it alone. It meant something to me.” But Thiebaud didn’t draw a line at these sugar-dusted confections—the artist also portrayed salty snacks like olives, sardines, and deli meats through works on paper. Whether savory or sweet, Thiebaud’s playful depictions of food capture a distinct moment in American ready-made culture of the 1950s and ’60s.

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