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A Conversation With Wayne Thiebaud

Published: May 2, 2016

The University Art Museum (UAM) will host an event featuring artist Wayne Thiebaud in conversation with Connie Glenn and Gene Cooper. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in the Martha Knoebel Dance Theater.

Thiebaud, who was raised in Long Beach, has a decades-long relationship to CSULB through Glenn, the one-time UAM director and Cooper, a former art history professor. Both have written extensively about Thiebaud’s work and bring a unique and personal perspective to the discussion that will address his career-long exploration of printmaking.

The talk will be held in conjunction with the artist’s exhibit at the UAM called “Wayne Thiebaud: Prints in Process.” which began on Jan. 30 and ends May 29.

The collection boasts four Thiebaud prints, which include an early Artist’s Proof. These prints are the basis for the permanent collection exhibition that will feature all the UAM Thiebaud works as well as 22 Thiebaud prints borrowed from the University Library Gallery of California State University, Sacramento.

Thiebaud is a quintessential California artist with roots in Long Beach who became world-renowned for his sensuous use of color to depict everyday objects and landscapes. Though most closely associated with Pop Art and California Realism, his unique style does not actively seek inclusion in the rhetoric of art history–the honesty and intimacy of his works make them immediately accessible, but they also offer up a technical rigor and talent that has seduced art critics for decades.

The Prints in Process exhibition focuses on Thiebaud’s creative process, featuring not only print progressions, but also variations on certain themes where his exploration of shape and subject are examined.

Thiebaud’s works are also in permanent collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Phoenix Art Museum; Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kansas City, Mo.; and many other institutions.

Thibault art-gumball machine

On Oct. 14, 1994, Thiebaud was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Art from the American Academy of Design in 2001. He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2010 at the California Museum, Sacramento and in 2013, he was honored with the California Art Award in recognition of his part in raising the prominence of California art around the world.