The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Presents "Delicious Images: Art About Food—Paintings and Works on Paper by Wayne Thiebaud and Joseph Goldyne," through December 1, 2013

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Food has always been a subject of great fascination for artists. This fall, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in Sonoma, California, highlights the culinary arts as inspiration for fine art with lushly rendered images of delectable pleasures by two noted California artists.

"Wayne Thiebaud and Joseph Goldyne are dedicated to making deeply satisfying works of art. What drives both of them is the promise and challenge of a fulfilling image. They elevate a common sandwich or cupcake to a masterpiece for musing."—Kate Eilertsen

The Sonoma Valley in northern California is known worldwide as a vibrant center for fine wines and the culinary arts. This fall, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art highlights these regional specialties as inspiration for fine art, with "Delicious Images: Art About Food—Paintings and Works on Paper by Wayne Thiebaud and Joseph Goldyne." This intimate exhibition of 22 paintings, drawings, and prints is on view at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, 551 Broadway, Sonoma, California, from September 7 through December 1, 2013.

For centuries, artists have turned their gaze toward delectable pleasures in nature’s bounty, from lush 17th-century allegorical still lifes of ripe and rotting fruits to cool Pop art renderings of commercial food products. Wayne Thiebaud and Joseph Goldyne skillfully and playfully capture the intrinsic beauty and essence of food. Both artists have used food as imaginative subject matter—not so much as traditional still lifes observed and rendered, but as a vehicle for exploring formal concerns and conveying an aesthetic stance or emotional state.

“Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is especially grateful to Wayne Thiebaud and Joseph Goldyne for sharing their work and providing us with such an insightful exhibition,” says the museum’s Executive Director Kate Eilertsen. “Unquestionably, these two artists are dedicated to making deeply satisfying works of art, whether of food or other subjects. Clearly, what drives both of them is the promise and challenge of a fulfilling image. Seen together, they elevate a common sandwich or cupcake to a masterpiece for musing.”

"Delicious Images: Art About Food" complements "Kitchen Memories: Kathleen Thompson Hill Culinary Collection," a comprehensive display of hundreds of cooking utensils, gadgets, signage, and other objects collected by Sonoma’s own culinary maven Kathleen Hill. During the exhibitions the museum will present a series of cooking programs, films and interactive projects for all ages. On Thursday, October 24th at 7pm, Museum director Kate Eilertsen will join artist Joseph Goldyne in conversation at the Museum.

Wayne Thiebaud is one of the most celebrated artists working today. Best known for painting everyday objects, from gumball machines to bakeshop windows, Thiebaud approaches issues of color, light, composition, and space through his signature tactile brushwork, saturated colors and carefully observed light.

Thiebaud’s early interest in art was inspired by comics such as George Herrman’s Krazy Kat. Early on, he worked briefly as an animator at Walt Disney studios, and drew a comic strip in the Air Force during World War II. After the war, he pursued formal art training, and in 1951 began a long and distinguished teaching career.

Thiebaud found a way to apply his formidable technical skills to new and unique subject matter, painting small canvasses that depicted brightly colored food products, cakes, candy, and ice cream cones, sensuously rendered with multi-hued outlines and hyper-exaggerated shadows. By the early 1960s, his best-known works, paintings of food and consumer goods rendered with thick textures and playful colors, had emerged in mature form, challenging long-held perceptions of appropriate subject matter.

In 1961 Thiebaud met New York art dealer Allan Stone, who became his exclusive dealer. In 1962, his work was featured in two historic group shows: The Pasadena Art Museum's "New Painting of Common Objects," regarded as the first exhibition of Pop art in America, where he exhibited alongside Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, and Andy Warhol; and "International Exhibition of the New Realists" at Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, which made Pop art the dominant visual style of the 1960s.

Although often classified as part of the American Pop art movement, Thiebaud never embraced the concept of Pop, and prefers to describe himself as a traditional painter of illusionistic form. He also included the human figure among his subjects, but with a weight and solidity that freed them from implications of sentimentality or superficial appeal.

In the mid-1960s, Thiebaud took up printmaking, which he has seriously pursued throughout his career. His long-term devotion to pastel produced some of his most alluring works, and he is a master at employing the medium to achieve particularly rich and complex passages. In the 1970s, Thiebaud painted his first major landscapes—dizzying street scenes inspired by the vertiginous topography of San Francisco, which he continued for the next 20 years, finding beauty in exaggerated and ingeniously altered scenes.

Wayne Thiebaud was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in a 1994 ceremony at the White House, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Art from the American Academy of Design, New York, in 2001. He was inducted into The California Hall of Fame in 2010 at The California Museum, Sacramento. A 2001 retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York won enthusiastic national acclaim for Thiebaud’s work. After the death of Allan Stone in 2006, his work was represented by his son, art dealer Paul Thiebaud, until Paul's untimely death in 2009. At home in Sacramento with his wife Betty Jean, Wayne Thiebaud continues painting today at age 93. (Adapted from the American Academy of Achievement,

Joseph Goldyne has been credited as one of the artists responsible for the rebirth of the monotype medium in contemporary art. Goldyne came to prominence as an artist on the West Coast in 1973 with his first solo exhibition of monoprints at Quay Gallery, San Francisco, where he showed alongside John Altoon, Bruce Conner, Manuel Neri, and Peter Voulkos. Since that time, Goldyne has continued to exhibit his paintings, drawings and monotypes at museums and galleries in the U.S. and Europe. His work was included in the historic 1997 exhibition, "Singular Impressions, The Monotype in America" at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. In 2001, a retrospective of his work was presented at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Educated as a physician (MD 1968) before earning his graduate degree in art history, Joseph Goldyne is nevertheless a self-taught artist who began drawing and painting during childhood. Goldyne’s confidence and creativity with the pencil or brush enable him to craft works that calm, challenge and inspire. His focus during the last six years has been a series of six-foot tall, narrow vertical paintings of imaginary waterfalls, exploring both subject and format to seamlessly fuse Eastern and Western aesthetic concerns.

Goldyne has also had a career-long affection for the creation of artist's books (livres d'artiste). He has made etchings and aquatints for ten such books, beginning in 1985 with the 40th-anniversary edition of The Diary of Anne Frank. He does not think of this work as illustration, but rather as accompaniment, and he has collaborated with writers, printers, and calligraphers in very fruitful projects. A selection of his artist’s books and monotypes is included this fall in the exhibition "Form and Expression: The Written Word" at the Center for Book & Paper Arts, Columbia College, Chicago.

For over 40 years, the relationships established through Goldyne’s orchestrations of subject matter have remarked uniquely on contemporary aesthetics and criticism. In his work of the 1970s and 1980s, he was among the first to deal with the history of art as a subject in and of itself, finding relationships at once profound and humorous in the works of past masters. He is vitally interested in theory, but believes in commenting on it visually.

David Winter, writing in Art News (Nov. 1984, p. 93), noted that Joseph Goldyne’s paintings, monotypes and drawings “are deeply rooted in the art-historical past. Small in scale, realistic in style and conventional in theme, they nonetheless represent a kind of quiet, unpublicized vanguard of their own, so radically steeped in tradition as to be new, so geared toward ancient, humanistic notions of art’s purpose as to offer a fresh artistic experience.”

About Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

With more than 1,000 members, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (, 707-939-7862) is the largest visual arts organization in the San Francisco North Bay region of Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and Solano Counties. Founded in 1998, SVMA exhibits the work of local, national, and international artists such as Rodin, Rivera, Goya, and Picasso, to date staging over 100 exhibitions attracting more than 100,000 visitors. SVMA is also the leading source of art education in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, serving more than 2,000 students annually. Its education outreach includes school tours, an annual student art exhibition, and adult art lectures and history courses. An entertainment series, social gatherings, and special events attract visitors from across the region. The museum occupies a state-of-the-art facility at 551 Broadway, just one-half block south of the historic Sonoma Plaza. Membership fees and donations to SVMA (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) are tax-exempt as permitted by law. The museum is open to the general public during exhibitions Wednesday–Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for individuals, free to the public on Wednesdays, and always free to members.

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