The essay "Exhibition of Wayne Thibaud" discovers Wayne Thibaud's Exhibition. A student of commercial art, he spent several years as a professional cartoonist at the Walt Disney Studios and elsewhere before moving on to teach art. Thibaud’s knowledge of and respect for commercial illustration greatly informed his subsequent work, which is marked by its formal geometric order and clearly defined forms. After briefly working in the dominant abstract expressionist style, Thibaud settled on realism as his primary mode of expression in the mid-1950s. In the 1960’s Thibaud received his Master’s from Sacramento State and later became an assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis—where he would remain through the 1970s. It was during his tenure at UC Davis when he created some of his most iconic works.In 1963, Thibaud turned increasingly to figure and landscape painting. Beginning in the 1970s, he began painting San Francisco cityscapes, wildly distorted views of the city's streets and hillsides that are reminiscent not only of Richard Diebenkorn's cityscapes from the mid-sixties but also the Precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Georgia O'Keefe. His most recent landscapes dating from the mid-1990s share many of the same spatial and planar distortions seen in the cityscapes but utilize hotter color and flattened planes to create the imagery. Although he has been frequently associated with Pop Art due to his choice of subject matter, Thibaud does not consider himself a Pop artist., nor does he align himself with the Bay Area figurative movement. His painting does not critique American culture so much as celebrate it, and his brushwork is more individual and expressive than the flat, mechanized style favored by Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist. Thibaud himself disavows an allegiance to any style, preferring to concentrate on the discipline of painting and his formal concerns. This focus places him in context with earlier painters he admires, including the 18th-century French painter Chardin, Giorgio Morandi, and Edward Hopper.
Wayne Thibaud was awarded the National Medal of Arts and a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2001, he was honored with a retrospective and monograph organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's Legion of Honor. The show to traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas. His work is held by major museums in the United States and abroad.
His recent series of beach painting was influenced by his youth which dates back to the 1920s and 1930s in Long Beach, California. Thibaud served as a city lifeguard which gave him a unique perspective of the coastline and activities happening at the beach. This was the first impression of beach culture that was marked on his tab (Wayne Thibaud: 70 years).
At present, Thibaud continues to work on themes inspired by Southern California beach culture. He fuses his vivid colors with these subjects slightly diverging from the subjects of his early works.
Comparing Thibaud's early works from his recent works, most of the subjects of his early works were foods such as cakes, pies and sandwiches. An example of his early work is the painting Cakes, pictured below, which was created in 1963. During his later years, his works incorporate landscapes and street scenes. Such is evident with his painting Rivers and Farms, pictured below,