Wayne Thiebaud United States, b. 1920


Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920, Mesa, Arizona) is a California-based artist known for his paintings of confections, cityscapes, and landscapes rendered in a rich array of pastel hues. He began his career in 1936 as a commercial artist, earning an apprenticeship as an illustrator at Walt Disney Studios and pursuing studies in commercial art and illustration at the Frank Wiggins Trade School. Following World War II, during which he served in the First Air Force Motion Picture Unit, Thiebaud shifted his focus to fine art and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sacramento State College. In 1956, he traveled to New York City, where he encountered key figures of the post-war art world, including Jasper Johns, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Rauschenberg. There, he met dealer Allan Stone who exhibited the artist’s work starting in 1962 until the former’s death in 2006. Thiebaud settled in California, establishing a studio in San Francisco and later in Sacramento, but the signature style he developed draws on several prominent elements of movements that emerged in New York after the war—notably the expressive, gestural brushstrokes and heavy application of pigment in Abstract Expressionism and the commercial iconography and everyday subject matter in Pop art. Thiebaud’s work is held in major institutional collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.