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Wayne Thiebaud

A Retrospective

October 22 – November 29, 2012

Wayne Thiebaud, Two Kneeling Figures, 1966

Wayne Thiebaud, Two Kneeling Figures, 1966, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches (152.4 x 182.9 cm), Collection of Betty Jean Thiebaud. Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Four Ice Cream Cones, 1964

Wayne Thiebaud, Four Ice Cream Cones, 1964, oil on canvas, 14 x 16 in. (35.6 x 40.6 cm). Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase - COMPAS Funds. Photo by Ken Howie / Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Reservoir and Orchard, 2001

Wayne Thiebaud, Reservoir and Orchard, 2001, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm), Collection of Wayne and Betty Jean Thiebaud. Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, River Pool, 1997

Wayne Thiebaud, River Pool, 1997, oil on canvas, 36 x 35 3/4 inches (91.4 x 90.8 cm), Acquavella Galleries. Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Yo-Yos, 1963

Wayne Thiebaud, Yo-Yos, 1963, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1963 (K1963:24). Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Wayne Thiebaud, Cafe Cart, 2012

Wayne Thiebaud, Cafe Cart, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 39 7/8 inches (76.2 x 101.3 cm), Acquavella Galleries. Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Press Release

Open Monday - Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm

Acquavella Galleries is pleased to announce Wayne Thiebaud: A Retrospective, from October 23rd to November 30th 2012. Curated by John Wilmerding, the exhibition will include paintings, works on paper and prints spanning the length of the artist’s career from the mid 1950s to today. The exhibition will include all of the artist’s major subjects: confections and diner foods, figures and portraits, San Francisco cityscapes, Sacramento Delta panoramas and his California mountain series. In addition to significant loans from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; and Phoenix Art Musuem, the exhibition will also include multiple work from the artist’s personal holdings. “Like many artists, he’s held on to some of the best examples of his work from every period,” explained Mr. Wilmerding.

Wayne Thiebaud is one of the most celebrated artists working today. Best known for painting everyday objects from gumball machines to bakeshop windows, Thiebaud uses tactile brushwork, saturated colors and luminous light for a range of subjects he describes as “people, places and things.” Although associated with Pop art of the 1960s, Thiebaud depicts subjects that reflect a nostalgia and reverence for American culture that sets him apart from the stark commercialism of Warhol and his contemporaries. Thiebaud takes a formal approach to issues of color, light, composition and space, stating that his only intention when he paints is to “get the painting to a point of resolution.” This formality lends itself to all of his many subjects and is one the reasons why the masterful quality of his paintings has remained consistent over sixty years. It is this consistency that Wilmerding hopes to highlight in the exhibition. "We are delighted to be representing Wayne Thiebaud, a major figure in the development of 20th century art whose work is just as relevant and impressive today as it was when he first gained critical acclaim in the early 60's," said Eleanor Acquavella.

Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) lives and works in Sacramento, CA. He has been widely recognized for his achievements as an artist and has received various prestigious awards such as the National Medal of Arts from President William Clinton, 1994; the Lifetime Achievement Award for Art from the American Academy of Design, NY, 2001 and he was inducted into The California Hall of Fame in 2010 at The California Museum, Sacramento, CA. His work has been exhibited in major museums and institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany; Phoenix Art Museum, AZ and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA. Thiebaud’s works are also in permanent collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Crocker Art Museum, CA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

John Wilmerding is the Sarofim Professor of American Art, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He has written more than twenty books on American art and artists, including most recently monographs and catalogues on Tom Wesselmann, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, and George Segal. The fully illustrated catalogue Wayne Thiebaud: A Retrospective will be co-distributed by Rizzoli and will contain two essays – “Wayne Thiebaud: ‘The Emperor of Ice Cream’” by John Wilmerding and “The Lonely Crowd: Men and Women in the Art of Wayne Thiebaud” by art historian Pepe Karmel.

For more information please contact Prentice Art Communications
(212) 228-4048 or

Photograph of Wayne Thiebaud
Wayne Thiebaud
Thiebaud, cover, high heels
Wayne Thiebaud (out of print)
A Retrospective October - November 2012
The New York December 3, 2012 Cover
The New Yorker
Cover Story: Wayne Thiebaud December 3, 2012
Photograph of "Let Them Wait for Cake"
The Daily Beast
Let Them Wait for Cake November 20, 2012
Photograph of "In Search of Refreshments"
The Wall Street Journal
In Search of Refreshments November 10-11, 2012
Photograph of "Slices, and Scoops of Life"
The New York Times
Slices, and Scoops of Life November 9, 2012
Photograph of "Wayne Thiebaud and the Limits of Gluttony"
Wayne Thiebaud and the Limits of Gluttony November 4, 2012
Photograph of "The Art World, Blurred"
The New York Times
The Art World, Blurred October 28, 2012
Wayne Thiebaud: A Retrospective October 23, 2012
Photograph of "Wayne Thiebaud: A Retrospective"
Wall Street International
Wayne Thiebaud: A Retrospective October 23, 2012
Photograph of "Art & Auction October 2012"
Art & Auction
October 2012

"People, places, and things" is how Thiebaud has described his range of subjects, but such simplicity does a disservice to the emotional weight and sheer visual appeal his hand has consistently given them. Beyond the usual buffet of desserts and diner foods (such as Four Ice Cream Cones, 1964, above), this museum-level retrospective, curated by John Wilmerding, will include well over 60 paintings, works on paper, and prints of figures and landscapes from San Francisco to the Sacramento Delta.

Photograph of "Fall Arts Preview: Top 10 Gallery Shows"
Fall Arts Preview: Top 10 Gallery Shows September 13, 2012

Wayne Thiebaud's paintings of pristine cakes, pies and ice cream sundaes have become such iconic symbols of mid-20th century American life that it's easy to forget their artistry and audacity. This career-spanning survey, curated by Princeton art historian John Wilmerding, should serve as a reminder, offering museum loans and, even more enticing, works that the artist has held in his collection for decades.

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