Renowned painter Wayne Thiebaud will be in conversation with the Rail’s Artseen Editor Amanda Gluibizzi and Editor-at-Large Jason Rosenfeld. We’ll close with a reading by poet Lewis Freedman.
Wayne Thiebaud was born Mesa, Arizona in 1920, and his family soon moved to Los Angeles in 1921. In high school he became interested in stage design and lighting, and worked part-time at a movie theater where he made posters for lobby displays, 1935-1938. During this time he also worked as a summer apprentice program in the animation department of Walt Disney Studios, 1936. From 1942 to 1945, Thiebaud served in the Air Force, assigned to the Special Services Department as an artist and cartoonist, and eventually transferred to the First Air Force Motion Picture Unit, commanded by Ronald Reagan. It is not difficult to detect the influence that this commercial experience had on his later paintings attributed to Pop Art; Thiebaud’s characteristic work displays consumer objects such as pies and cakes as they are seen in drug store windows. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included. Objects are simplified into basic units but appear varied using seemingly minimal means. Thiebaud had his first solo exhibition at the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento. He lectured at the Art Department of the Sacramento City College until 1959, when he became a professor at the University of California in Davis. Today, Wayne Thiebaud lives and works in California.
Amanda Gluibizzi is an ArtSeen editor at The Brooklyn Rail. An art historian, she is the co-director of The New Foundation for Art History and the author of Art and Design in 1960s New York (forthcoming).
Jason Rosenfeld, PhD is Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College. He was co-curator of the exhibitions John Everett Millais (Tate Britain, Van Gogh Museum), Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (Tate Britain and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), and River Crossings (Olana and Cedar Grove, Hudson and Catskill, New York). He has contributed the lead text for a Phaidon monograph on Cecily Brown that will be published in November 2020. He is a Senior Writer and Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and
we’re fortunate to have
Lewis Freedman is the author of the books Residual Synonyms for the Name of God (Ugly Duckling Presse), Hold the Blue Orb, Baby (Well Greased Press), Am Perhaps Yet (Oxeye), as well as I Want Something Other than Time, forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2021.