Wayne Thiebaud at the John Berggruen Gallery

There should be a reality show called Vendors Behaving Badly. It couldn’t be any worse than the reality TV shows on channels today. When copious amounts of caffeine and chocolate didn’t work, I took myself off to the John Berggruen Gallery to look at the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit they have on display.

I love Wayne Thiebaud’s work.

I love the way his brushstrokes look. I love the way he paints regular things. The cakes and pies and other desserts are kind of special, but they are also normal. I strive to be a bit influenced by his work in my own drawings for the Creative Prompt Project.

Letter Tray
Letter Tray

One of the things I like about his painting of the out tray or letter tray (don’t know the real title) is the writing. The way he painted the writing really makes it look real, if a bit blurred. I am interested in his technique, because of my recent attempts at including writing in my Creative Prompt Responses, e.g. #141.

I tried to notice things about his work and not do just a “drive by” viewing. This was an interesting selection of his works. I had seen similar paintings, but I am not sure if I have seen these exacts images.

I prefer his cakes and desserts to his landscapes, so I made myself really look at the landscapes this time. I think of Mr. Thiebaud as using very thick paint. I didn’t see that as much in this exhibit in general, but also didn’t see it in the landscapes. I wonder if he uses a flatter painting technique with his landscapes? I was able to still see the brush strokes when I looked at the paintings at an angle. I couldn’t see 3 dimensionality, however, looking at the painting straight on. The strokes on the backgrounds were very vertical, which I think added to the sense of extreme hills.

The landscapes were almost a caricature of the City. He used subtle colors and different colors that one would expect for a landscape – blues in the trees, turquoise and yellow. The colors add interest and are effective.

There were a few paintings from the 1960s and some from 2004, 2007, etc. It was very interesting to see the evolution in his work, not only in technique, but also in the changes to his series.

Hats and Shoes
Hats and Shoes

One thing I noticed in the Hats and Shoes painting was the pink ceiling was a slightly lighter pink than the wall. Very effective.

I am pleased that I went. I would love to have the space as a studio!

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

4 thoughts on “Wayne Thiebaud at the John Berggruen Gallery”

Comments are closed.