Wayne Thiebaud, ‘DARK BIRD’, 2015, Headlands Center for the Arts: Benefit Auction 2017

Born in 1920 in Mesa, Arizona, Wayne Thiebaud grew up in Long Beach, California and currently resides in Sacramento. In 1962 at the age of forty-one, Thiebaud had his first solo show at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York, receiving tremendous critical attention. That same year he had a solo show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. He has received numerous awards and been the subject of many museum shows around the country. Thiebaud began making etchings at Crown Point Press in 1964 and continues to explore his signature subjects of food, animals, figures, and still lifes in the medium to this day.
–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts

Image rights: Courtesy of Crown Point Press

About Wayne Thiebaud

Best known for his paintings of cakes, pies, pastries, and toys, Wayne Thiebaud hadn’t planned on becoming a visual artist. He apprenticed as a cartoonist at Walt Disney studios and intended to work as a commercial illustrator, but his friend Robert Mallary turned him towards a career in fine art. Thiebaud was friendly with Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning, but avoided their Abstract Expressionism in favor of a figural style. Though Thiebaud is most often grouped with the Pop art movement for his subject matter, the artist considers himself “just an old fashioned painter,” and “not a card carrying Pop artist.” He remains best known for his still lifes of confections—sometimes painted from his own memories—which he considers interpretations of “Americanness.” In his works, objects and their shadows are characteristically outlined in multiple colors, creating a visual effect Thiebaud calls akin to vibration.

American, b. 1920, Mesa, Arizona, based in San Francisco, California