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Wayne Thiebaud

American, 1920-2021

Wayne Thiebaud’s pastel-hued still-life paintings and prints of baked goods, gumball machines, hot dogs and paint cans are often associated with the Pop art movement, thanks to the mass-cultural appeal of their content. Stylistically, however, Thiebaud eschewed the precision found in the art of such Pop giants as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol in favor of a more painterly approach, not unlike that of the Italian modernist Giorgio Morandi, whose dreamy paintings of vessels and household objects are simple yet richly atmospheric.

Thiebaud was born in Mesa, Arizona, in 1920 and grew up in Southern California from the age of six months. As a high schooler, he had a summer apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studios, which led to a stint as a graphic artist in the U.S. Army Air Forces’ First Motion Picture Unit during World War II. After the war, he attended the California State College at Sacramento on the G.I. Bill, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1951 and earning a master’s soon after. He went on to teach at the University of California, Davis, from 1960 to ’91.

In the late ’50s, time spent living in New York City proved crucial to Thiebaud’s career. There, he befriended Abstract Expressionist painters Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline and drew inspiration from the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Admiring the color and form on display in New York’s many bakeries, he began painting small canvases featuring rows of treats, which would become one of his central subjects. Though Thiebaud himself doesn’t identify as a Pop artist, the first major exhibition that brought him national renown was a seminal 1962 Pop show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in Manhattan. That same year, he was included in "New Painting of Common Objects” at the Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, which also featured paintings by Ed Ruscha and Jim Dine. Iconic works such as Pie Counter (1963) demonstrate Thiebaud’s signature treatment of commonplace items with the grandeur and scale of a landscape.

Thiebaud’s interest in exaggerated colors and vernacular subject matter — characteristics that call to mind images found in mid-century advertising — made him an intriguing figure occupying the hazy borderlands between fine and commercial art. Yet through a masterful handling of paint, evocative use of light and poignant sense of isolation, Thiebaud’s work is unquestionably thoughtful and singular. His later forays into landscape painting, as seen in Steep Street (1989) or Country City (1988), bring to bear his bold use of color on complex urban scenes.

Pieces by Thiebaud can be found in the collections of major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among many others. In 1994, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.

Find original Wayne Thiebaud art on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$14,196
Styles
Materials
Pie Counter, 1963 (Hand Signed) by Wayne Thiebaud
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in New York, NY
Wayne Thiebaud Pie Counter, 1963 (Hand Signed), 2008 Offset lithograph poster (Hand signed by Wayne Thiebaud) Boldly signed by the artist in black marker on the front 16 × 20 inches ...
Category

1960s Pop Art Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Offset

Candy Counter
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in New York, NY
A superb, well-inked impression of this color linoleum cut on Arches. Signed, dated and numbered 3/50 in pencil by Thiebaud. Published by Parasol Press, Ltd., New York. From "Seven S...
Category

1970s Pop Art Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Color, Linocut

  • Candy Counter
  • Candy Counter
  • Candy Counter
  • Candy Counter
H 18.5 in. W 25.25 in.
Little Red Suckers
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in New York, NY
1971/2014 Aquatint in red, on Somerset paper Image: 5 x 6 in. (12.7 x 15.2 cm); Sheet: 10 ⅛ x 10 ½ in. (25.7 x 26.7 cm) Edition of 35 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

2010s Pop Art Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Paper, Aquatint

Bird on a Swing, from Recent Etchings I by Wayne Thiebaud
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in Milwaukee, WI
"Bird on a Swing" is a striking and quiet example of the Pop Art images of the artist Wayne Thiebaud, using his bright coloration for a single figure in an empty setting. The print c...
Category

1970s Pop Art Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Aquatint, Etching

Wayne Thiebaud 'Hill River' 2002
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in Delray Beach, FL
Wayne Thiebaud's 'Hill River' is a 2002 drypoint and aquatint in color on wove paper. The dimensions of the full sheet measure at 21.25 x 30.5 inches. This print is signed in pencil,...
Category

Early 2000s Contemporary Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Aquatint

Untitled, Etching
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in London, GB
Etching on paper, 1962/64, signed and numbered E.A. from the edition of 60, printed by Atelier Georges Leblanc, Paris, published by Galleria Schwarz, Milan, 25.2 x 19.2 cm. (10 x 7½...
Category

1960s Modern Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Etching

Chocolate Pie
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in London, GB
Woodcut on wove paper Edition of 10 Signed and dated.
Category

Early 2000s Pop Art Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Woodcut

Wayne Thiebaud 'River Turns' 1998/2011
By Wayne Thiebaud
Located in Delray Beach, FL
Wayne Thiebaud's 'River Turns' is a 1998/2011 etching in color. The dimensions of the full sheet measure at 15 x 20 inches. This print is signed in pencil, dated and numbered '3/40 R...
Category

1990s Contemporary Wayne Thiebaud

Materials

Aquatint

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Galleries Featuring Wayne Thiebaud

Michael Lisi/Contemporary Art
5.0
Dawson Cole Fine Art
5.0
Phi Auctions
No Reviews Yet
Upsilon Gallery
No Reviews Yet
David Barnett Gallery
5.0
Marlborough Graphics
5.0
Bernard Jacobson Gallery
4.8

Wayne Thiebaud art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Wayne Thiebaud art for sale. If you are looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, orange, purple and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Wayne Thiebaud in drypoint, aquatint, etching and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Pop Art style. Not every interior allows for large Wayne Thiebaud art, so small editions measuring 4.75 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Red Grooms, Raymond Pettibon and Michael Knigin. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $4,250 and tops out at $43,200, while the average work can sell for $9,750..

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