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Wayne Thiebaud Rizzoli book cover

An artist with works in the permanent collections of the top museums across the country and countless awards and honorary degrees might be expected to slow down a bit in his or her later years. But not Wayne Thiebaud. The American painter turns 95 on November 15 and is celebrating with a new monograph published by Rizzoli that explores his extensive career. While Thiebaud is best known for his heavily pigmented still lifes of cakes, pies, and candies, the book shows his broader range, from vibrant landscapes depicting highways and farmland to portraits of solitary figures. Thiebaud selected all the works featured in the book and welcomes readers with a short yet poignant introduction, signing off by saying, “Thank you for looking at my pictures.”


The volume includes essays by art critic Kenneth Baker, cultural historian Nicholas Fox Weber, curator and art critic Karen Wilkin, and poet and critic John Yau. The texts examine Thiebaud’s influences as well as his impact on the art world and the individual viewers of his work. As Wilkin writes, “Thiebaud’s works have not only directed our attention to things we might otherwise have taken for granted or overlooked, but they also have made our vision so much more acute that we find that the real objects his paintings have taught us to see are—paradoxically—less interesting than their painted equivalents.”