wayne thiebaud's work (from 1958-68) is currently on display at UCD @ Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, scott richard
with 60 paintings on display marking a specific period of an artist's career, this show would be fun whether or not you knew thiebaud's work before you arrived. however, thiebaud wasn't just any artist so this show is even more fun.
he was/is an essentialist. and a hard worker and an educator. my kind of hero.
by the end of the show i was literally excited to go and look up his next phase as a painter because the ten year period that this show covers ended with an emerging interest in people as the subject matter of his brilliant lit isolationism of object. he puts his subject on an altar and ESSENTIALLY whitewashes the background into bright lit or warmly lit NEGATIVE spaces.
and using the word isolationism shouldn't have a judgmental tone. instead, focus on the idea of the altar or the limelight that bathes the center stage. or "a well lit room" for "seeing". that kind of essentialism.
and honestly, essentialism is godly when an artist can perform the miracle with human subject matter.
it blesses us all. and thiebaud can do that.
his work may appear simple, but unlike matisse and chagall, it is by no means naive.
for me, intellectually, the truest inspiration in thiebaud's pieces lends itself to further cropping and MORE importantly, it teaches us how we CAN crop and how the essential qualities are literally like islands of reflective light awash in an ocean of backup singers from heaven's shores.
something else i love visually is his growing obsession with the spectrum of light and the way he breaks it up with icing thick swashes of paint and the conduction of rainbows and the suggestion of more rainbows compositionally echoing the light throughout his work. it's a way of keeping the shadows hot and letting the paint jump off the canvas but only if you get up close.
this was a partial review to let you know to check this show out!!!
more to come mostly because i think this show is so full of interesting things and i want to take them on separately for their worth. i also want to write about his major artistic perception shift in 1959/60 where he speeds away from the ordinary and dives headlong into the techniques i mention above about negative space and isolationism.
a side note of interest the SHOW IS FREE.