There is something so enticing about a Wayne Thiebaud painting. Whether he is working in oil, pastel or charcoal, I always feel like the pictures are good enough to eat! The 93-year old artist seems never to stop making art. Forty-nine works are now on view at the Acquavella Galleries on the upper east side. Many of them have been created in the last five years and have not been seen before.
The works in the exhibition re-visit recurring themes in Thiebaud’s work, like confections, pastries and other ordinary objects. The exhibition also includes landscapes of California, where he has lived his whole life. His oil paintings are textured and his color choices are bright and optimistic. “This exhibition is a testament to his unique ability to illuminate the everyday and elevate the ordinary,” commented Eleanor Acquavella.
There were several art works that caught my attention . One was an ink drawing; a medium I don’t normally associate with Thiebaud. I loved the way his sparse lines conveyed a whole story about a man with 2 baguettes. Another was a pastel drawing of “Ten Candies.” It was only after looking closely did I realize it wasn’t paint. As a pastel dabbler, I really appreciated the color nuances he was able to extract from the pastels. “Cupcakes & Donuts” was an interesting piece because of the various media Thiebaud used to create it. At the bottom of the work he wrote: “Unique trial proof hand-tinted with India Ink, watercolor, gouache and pastel on paper.” The effect is a much darker palette than his other pastry works. I liked the outcome.
The Thiebaud exhibit at Acquavella is on view until November 21st. Opening at the Allan Stone Projects gallery on October 23rd are “Wayne Thiebaud In Black and White,” and “Prints By Wayne Thiebaud.”