A Moment of Respite: San Francisco West Side Ridge by Wayne Thiebaud
March 23, 2020 4:05 PM   Subscribe

A cityscape so luscious you could almost eat it. Wayne Thiebaud is an American painter widely known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects—pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs—as well as for his landscapes and figure paintings.

You may be familiar with Thiebaud's luscious cakes, pastries and yummy stuff. He has also done many wonderful landscapes and cityscapes... it's all luscious (yes that word again... how else?).

About Mr. Thiebaud »

Here's a nice selection of landscapes.

If you haven't seen the goodies...
posted by ecorrocio (13 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
OK, but for fear of being too literal, what intersection is that. With full understanding that it might be 3-4 real ones blended.
posted by feckless at 4:23 PM on March 23

Some of those hills let me know they've clearly driven in Seattle.
posted by ZaneJ. at 4:28 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Wayne Thiebaud gets my vote for the most neglected great American painter. Yeah, the pies and pastries are good, but his real achievement is coming to grips with the complex modern cityscape, and discovering a novel aesthetic in its hills, freeways and cars. Thiebaud showed us how to look at our own California towns as if for the first time: Stretched and layered and scrumptiously frosted.

Up until the age of film anime, which, from the very beginning, has fearlessly taken on the modern cityscape, Thiebaud had this space all to himself.
posted by Modest House at 4:46 PM on March 23 [15 favorites]

Wayne is so great. 90something and still goes in to Crown Point Press in San Francisco every year to do a print project (he lives in Davis or Sacramento, can’t recall which.)

I ran into him there once, he comes in every day in a suit. A gentleman and an artist.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 5:10 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]

Oh, these are lovely. My dreams look like this sometimes - my mind will see landscapes as flat, then switch to having depth once colors really hit me. Yummy is definitely the right word for his work.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 5:15 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Also, in his cityscapes he freely acknowledges a debt to Richard Diebenkorn’s figurative work of the late 50s-early 60s. Diebenkorn was only slightly older but at the time was a well-regarded painter who lived in Berkeley and taught at CSFA (later the SF Art Institute.) He’s spoken really intelligently about Diebenkorn over the years and recently Acquavella Galleries did a two person show that’s worth looking at.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 5:16 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]

Ah, lovely. I couriered my museum’s Thiebaud to UC Davis for a show on a specific decade of his work, and the museum staff there says he comes by often and sometimes hangs out for lunch with them. That show was a marvel, too - there was a tiny painting of a plate of olives I lusted after.
posted by PussKillian at 8:26 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]

I’m a fan also. In the “nice selection of landscapes” link they’ve actually mistakenly include a Diebenkorn, the one at the top of this article.
posted by Cuke at 5:40 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]

The roads are basically waterfalls, aren't they?
posted by ardgedee at 6:49 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]

Here are the olives I was so taken with.
posted by PussKillian at 7:52 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]

PussKillian, check out this hot combo! Such interesting tilts in space, both paintings.

Haha, Cuke, good catch.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 10:15 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]

I was introduced to Wayne Thiebaud's work in a college color and design. I've been basically obsessed with his amazing orange and red linework ever since. And those electric blue shadows!
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 11:00 AM on March 24

His work is all about the lines -- the textures, the thickness, the curves. I grew obsessed with his work after seeing this painting of some pie in a box at the San Diego art museum. Lucky me, he turns 100 this year, and museums across California are celebrating, including the exhibition at UC-Davis (thanks, PussKillian, I loved it!) and in his native Sacramento...
posted by Theiform at 7:39 PM on March 24

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