Wayne Thiebaud Exhibition: 99 Years of Innovation and Art

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Come celebrate the life and career of pop artist, Wayne Thiebaud! In conjunction with his 99th birthday, the John Natsoulas Gallery will feature various paintings and works on paper by the world-renowned painter. The show runs from October 30th to November 30th. Join us at the opening reception on November 9th from 7-9pm.

Exhibition Duration: October 30th- November 30th, 2019
Opening Reception: November 9th from 7 to 9 pm
Location: John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis CA
Free admission. All ages welcome.

From his early cartoon drawings to his famous later work, this comprehensive exhibition features pieces from the early years of Wayne Thiebaud’s career. This survey of his paintings and works on paper relate to some of Thiebaud’s most famous images such as Candy Counter and Meat Counter. In this exhibition one can see the master’s thinking process and development as an artist. Not only is it beautiful, it is also educational. Wayne Thiebaud’s brilliance lies in his capacity to depict everyday objects as commodities, capturing their essence with thick, gestural brushwork and bold, saturated colors. Best known for his paintings of classic diner style desserts, this artist updated the traditional still-life genre for the age of mass production and consumption. He is widely considered the most notable artist to come from UC Davis.

Wayne Thiebaud began his career as a graphic designer and cartoonist before beginning his painting career in the mid- 1950s. It was not long before he eventually rose to fame with his signature pop style paintings of hot dogs, pies, and cakes in 1961. In 1962, Thiebaud started teaching at UC Davis. He began using deeply saturated colors and experimented with the largely devalued medium of ceramics. These were considered highly taboo in the eyes of the prestigious New York art scene. Despite the revolutionary characteristics of his work and the artistic ideals of his time, Thiebaud gained recognition as a highly-respected artist.

In 1962, the University provided Thiebaud with a grant to travel to New York City, where a massively successful debut exhibition at the Allan Stone Gallery launched his national reputation. His name became huge in the world of Pop Art and New Realism. Thiebaud is widely regarded as a figurehead in the Bay Area Figurative Movement along with Manuel Neri. A dedicated and passionate professor, Thiebaud ignited a spirit of creative innovation in countless students and aspiring artists spanning four decades on the UC Davis campus. Thiebaud officially retired from the UC Davis faculty in 1991 but continued to teach into the next decade.

Wayne Thiebaud has received numerous awards during his career including the National Medal of Arts, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Design, and the Most Distinguished Studio Art Teacher of the Year from the College Association of America. He has permanent collections at the Whitney, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and many other institutions. From his humble beginnings as a cartoonist to his days as a revolutionary, lionized artist, this exhibition explores every milestone in Thiebaud’s career. Join us for the opening reception November 9th from 7 to 9 pm. The exhibition will run from October 30th through November 30th, 2019.

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John Natsoulas
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