American-born Wayne Thiebaud was a 20th century artist of great influence and renown and was a pre-eminent practitioner of Pop Art. His habit of painting ordinary objects such as hot dogs, paint cans and tubes of lipstick hugely influenced Andy Warhol’s era-defining ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ painting.
Thiebaud was an accomplished printmaker, and his prints often featured bright colours, thick lines, and bold compositions that emphasise the forms and textures of his subject matter. His prints included lithographs, etchings, and screenprints, and often depict everyday objects such as food, landscapes, and cityscapes.
One of Thiebaud’s most famous print series is his “Delights” lithographs, which feature images of cakes, pies, and other desserts. Another popular series is his “Cityscapes” lithographs, which depict urban scenes with a distinctive sense of light and colour.
Wayne Thiebaud used heavy colours and shadows, imitating the graphic design of US advertising of the 1950s and 60s. He didn’t consider himself a Pop Artist, describing his artistic endeavour as a ‘painter of illusionist form.’ This didn’t stop him being considered a pioneer of the movement, especially for his 1962 exhibition in New York City at the Sydney Janis gallery. His display of everyday objects heralded the birth of a new way of creating, thinking about and understanding art this is still with us today. As well as his mass culture work, Wayne Thiebaud also painted landscapes, street and cityscapes and people, in a hyperrealist style. He didn’t make distinctions between high and low art and considered himself ‘just an old-fashioned painter’.