At age 98, Thiebaud still paints and plays tennis daily; spanning more than 50 years and a range of themes, his works reflect his commitment to the material and tradition of painting. His selections from the museum's collection exhibit the wide range of his enthusiasms, leavened with wit and intelligence.
Breaking boundaries is basic to our notion of creativity.
Kanak, lArt est une Parole, which has been on view in the museums Jardin Gallery since October, extends a long-standing dialogue with New Caledoniaa French island territory with a rich Melanesian heritage, where the drama of colonialism is still unfolding.
In Metaphors on Vision, filmmaker Stan Brakhage records a 1963 visit to poet Charles Olson in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the hometown that Olson mined geographically and poetically for the final decades of his life.
I recently visited with Wayne Thiebaud as he prepared to travel to New York for his current exhibition at Aquavella Galleries; our conversation turned to public projects, and he asked if I knew of his 1957 mural on the headquarters of the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) building.
A poster in the Paris Métro this summer features a recreation of Delacroix’s famous Liberty Leading the People, only in place of Delacroix’s statuesque woman, the World Wildlife Fund’s giant panda carries the French flag.
Enticing us with liquid surfaces of turquoise and pink, Bradford casts an ironic eye on conventional beach scenes, as water threatens to overflow and submerge us.
Inspired by Nietzsche and Malevich in his precocious development as a geometric abstractionist, Hélio Oiticica also absorbed some of his entomologist father’s scientific precision.
A general mood of melancholy isolation prevails. Dynamic exuberance is replaced by methodical composition, as though fastidious fabrication could generate visions.
Clint Jukkalas new paintings call to mind René Magrittes False Mirror (1928): a close-up look into an eye that opens out into clouds and sky. Jukkalas circular shapes, outlined in bright colors, also become both eyes and windows, and pose similar perceptual conundrums.
A fantasy city on the far side of the world, Singapore combines modern planning with intimations of tropical escape. It acknowledges our jaded taste for luxury while arousing utopian dreams.
Deeply involved with materials, Whitten is well known for having devised novel tools to make massive paintings. Here, he shows himself equally at home on a modest scale and with a range of new mediums.
The recent re-installation of paintings at the new Whitney Museum provides a natural context for Alex Katzs show of thirteen large landscape paintings at Gavin Browns Enterprise, and inspires reflection on the combination of European modernism with indigenous tendencies ranging from regionalism to the sublime in American landscape painting.
In her impressive debut exhibition at Pace Gallery’s recently opened space in Palo Alto, Loie Hollowell compresses powerful, evocative images into highly crafted objects.
Wayne Thiebauds Memory Mountains, a survey of 48 paintings and drawings going back to 1962, calls to mind an old song, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, partly because the mountains confectionary colors and stratified pigments recall those of the artists well known paintings of cakes and pies, but also because the cartoonish imagery of many of the paintings evoke, like the song, a fantastic never-never landan ironic take on the American sublime.
After years as a landscape painter, Stuart Shils has assembled a wide-ranging show at Steven Harvey, integrating painting, photography, and sculpture, often in the same piece.
As video ergo sum, a new retrospective at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, tracks Campus’s investigation of the self from early interactive installations into recent “videographs” of landscapes, key mid-career works are concurrently featured in circa 1987 at Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York.
Willem de Kooning once dismissively described the Oriental idea of beauty as it isnt here. De Kooning preferred objects in relation to man, with no souls of their own.
While her earlier paintings consisted mainly of close-up renderings of man-made surfaces, her concern here is with measurement.
The sort of self-examination Susanna Coffey has practiced over the past three decades is far from the passive self-absorption often criticized in contemporary media.
Restored after they were damaged in World War II, these works, once condemned as monotonous and without structure, suddenly found an audience of young American abstract painters taken by their radiant, horizonless cycles of sunrise and sunset attuned to the expansive mood of postwar America.
In the late 1980s, Elena Sisto made a series of paintings of empty picture frames, directing attention to the conventional moldings and materials that normally surround an image.
In iconic works from the Bay Area Figurative Movement, Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud defined a California vernacular in the early 1960s—Diebenkorn with suburban views of figures at windows and Thiebaud with arrays of desserts.
Using a combination of casting, 3D printing, and hand modeling, Pondick has refined her methods of fabrication in pigmented resin and cast acrylic, which she combines in constantly changing relationships.
Poet Charles Olson advised his colleagues to think in terms of millennia, setting their local coordinates of place and history in the proper perspective. Photographer Meridel Rubenstein goes one better with her embrace of geological deep time embedded in Indonesian volcanoes. Part of a larger project, Eden Turned on its Side, the imposing digital photo works from The Volcano Cycle at Brian Gross unite science, religion, and art.
Just as Matisse once commented that he was fascinated by window views because they allowed distant things to share the space of objects in his studio, the relationship between these two artists rests on surprising connections across space and time.
Like an athlete bent on extreme challenges, Spencer Finch tests the limits of visibility. Here, in works on paper from the past ten years, he applies his observational powers to the colors of the Pacific Ocean or California darkness.
Perceptual psychologists have long dismissed the notion that our brain records images like a camera; seeing is an interactive process of grazing, in a visual field that extends around us on all sides, rather than a series of flat images projected to a single point. Yet photographic images retain special authority as records of visual experience. In his current exhibition, James Hyde undertakes to dislodge this persistent prejudice.
Just as Impressionists brought viewers into contact with the reception of light in the eye, Susan Wides immerses them in the more active process of focus.
A distillation of pure color and dramatic light effects, Wayne Thiebaud’s Pastel Scatter (1972) seems to be a spontaneous gesture, yet it’s evident that it is rendered in the methodical technique Thiebaud developed in his 1960s paintings of pies and ice cream cones.