Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Art Reivew - "Two Seated Figures, 1965" by Wayne Thiebaud

Kimberly and I were fortunate to be able to view the Wayne Thiebaud 100 exhibit currently on display at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. While the exhibit celebrates the artist's 100th birthday, his 101st birthday was just this past week.

"Two Seated Figures, 1965" • Wayne Thiebaud • Oil on Canvas • 60" x 72"

Thiebaud is primarily known for his paintings of common place objects such as pies, pastries and ice cream cones, but also has a large body of work featuring landscapes and figures. It's these figure paintings in which I see a strong connection to early 20th Century American illustration.

Thiebauld's figure paintings bring to mind the fashion illustration work of J.C. Leyendecker. This stems from both the nondescript spaces that the figures are contained within, but also the very consistent and formulaic way in which the artist applies paint to the canvas.

The paint application was so important to Leyendecker's work that it became a trade secret. I can only assume that Thiebaud has a familiarity with the iconic illustrator's work due to his early career at Walt Disney Studios.


Even more interesting in Thiebaud's work is the rich color he adds to the edges within his paintings. These primary and secondary color lines add a richness and excitement to the paintings. Also notice in this closeup the careful way in which the artist handles the textural qualities of the background paint.

"Two Seated Figures, 1965" Detail • Wayne Thiebaud • Oil on Canvas • 60" x 72"


Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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