So lucky me, I got to see real art, in person this week – what a treat! I viewed the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit, “Thiebaud 100, Paintings,Prints and Drawings” on display at the Crocker Art Museum. I had to make a reservation to enter the museum and because of restrictions, there were few people there. What a delight! I was able to linger over each painting and not feel rushed.
Before I show some his art I want to first show a blast from the past:
My local quilt guild, the Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild, formed a small group focused on the art quilt called Quartz. In 2011 we created a challenge and took a Wayne Thiebaud painting (with permission) and create a “slice” quilt; mine is the second slice from the left. We were quite pleased with it and it hung in our local show as well as a local gallery. And then, gasp, it was purchased by a local attorney! It was a big moment for all of us. I wrote about it here and here. That was my first big exposure to Wayne Thiebaud.
Here’s a brief history of Wayne Thiebaud for those who are not familiar with his work. The exhibit celebrates his 100th birthday with 100 of his works. The Crocker Art Museum has hosted a Wayne Thiebaud exhibit every decade since he was a young artist in 1951. He is mostly known for his realistic portrayal of desserts but his work is much more expansive and includes portraiture and landscapes. His work is described as familiar, realistic and comforting but he manipulates reality to capture what he knows and feels about his subject.
A few gems from the exhibit:
This is probably one of his most familiar works. He frequently painted single types of food laid out cafeteria style.
He is about as creative with his titles as I am! Check out this detail:
Look how he highlights his shapes with a colorful edge.
The models are his wife Betty Jean and local businessman C. K. McClatchy. He frequently portrays people that show weariness and isolation. He deliberately depicts people that are doing nothing and revealing nothing.
The voice of “Winnie the Pooh”!
As a non-painter, I am amazed at the huge variety of colors used to achieve this portrait.
Even then San Francisco had heavy traffic! His Uncle was a road maker and Thiebaud played with bulldozers and toy cars as a boy. He has retained that fascination with cities, especially San Francisco.
“By manipulation of perspective and scale, deemphasizing some sections and inflating the importance of others, and combining three-dimensional and flat passages, Tiebaud’s street- and cityscapes are blatantly unreal, even surreal.”
Oh this brings back my hippie-chick years!
Quiet, dramatic and lonely.
This is one of my favorites. I can’t tell you why. It’s such a simple subject but there seems to be a lot said.
A word about the Crocker Art Museum. It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve visited yet it’s only about 20 miles from where I live. “The Crocker Art Museum features the world’s foremost display of California art and is renowned for its holdings of European master drawings and international ceramics.” It is the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi and consists of 2 buildings – a magnificent and elaborate mansion completed in 1872 and a large modern structure completed in 2010.
I used to visited frequently before I began to travel to teach. I so clearly remember seeing a portion of Quilt National in 2001 before I even knew about the art quilt. It blew my mind and opened me up to my future as an art quilter. I have fond memories associated with the Crocker!
Oh and here’s a sneak peek at what I’m working on now:
I’m having a blast!