Fondation Beyeler shows Wayne Thiebaud

Sensual abundance

Pop Art artist Wayne Thiebaud literally imposed himself with his fat cakes and pies. Similar to Udo Jürgens' with Aber bitte mit Sahne, Thiebaud found a language for the oversaturated affluent society with his pictures. The Fondation Beyeler will bring its visitors closer to the artist's complexity starting January 29.

January 29, 2023
Wayne Thiebaud, Bakery Case, 1996 Oil on Canvas, 167,9 x 187,9 cm
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, the Netherlands © Wayne Thiebaud Foundation / 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich, Photo: Antoine van Kaam
Wayne Thiebaud, Bakery Case, 1996 , Oil on canvas, 167,9 x 187,9 cm

Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud (1920 to 2021) died only two years ago – and turned 101. It is bizarre that the number of years he lived is reminiscent of the title of a Disney animated film: after all, he himself worked for a short time in the cartoon department of the film giant. Thiebaud began his career as a graphic designer. It was his still lifes of sumptuous cakes, muffins, pies and ice cream that made him famous. The food depicted served him as an allegory for the affluent society, the  »American Way of Life«. With tactile layers of paint he let the surfeit symbolically swell into the third dimension. Through his imposing painting technique, the pictures rank between the real and the imagined world, between irony and melancholy.

The Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel approaches Wayne Thiebaud's work in a multi-layered way in the exhibition of the same name. Starting January 29, it will present still lifes and portraits alongside multi-perspective cityscapes and landscapes. The exhibition ends on May 21, 2023.Art.Salon

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