Galleries — Have It Your Way

Wayne Thiebaud serves up 70 years of abundance at the Palm Springs Art Museum.



Known for applying thick layers of paint like so much icing on the cakes and desserts that made his still-life paintings famous, Wayne Thiebaud (born 1920) occupies a populist place in American art history.

The survey exhibition Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting (Feb. 11-May 17) includes more than 100 works demonstrating the evolution of the artist’s personal artistic vision, exploring close-to-home subjects and stylistic variations that consistently blend realism and abstraction in a painterly fashion and with sensuous movement of oils and pastels.

Thiebaud also has specialized in large-scale portraits, studies of Northern California landscape, and cityscapes featuring San Francisco’s vertiginous geometry of streets and sidewalks.

“It was the cafeteria-type foods, of course, the cakes, pies, ice creams, hamburgers, hotdogs, canapes, club sandwiches, and other staples of the American diet — all of which have a stereotypical this-can-be-found-anywhere-in-the-country-but-only-in-this-country quality — that brought Thiebaud most of his early notoriety,” museum Director Steven Nash wrote in Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective (Thames & Hudson, 2000). “This signature style of Thiebaud’s paint handling — the rich, smooth dragging of paint across a surface or around a shape in a way that both proclaims the luscious texture of oils and often transforms itself into the very material being depicted, from frosting or whipped cream to metal — is referred to by the artist as ‘object transference.’”

Thiebaud’s paintings, Nash says, “also comment on the abundance that is part of American society and the longing or desires that go with it: desserts lined up in rows stretching far into the distance like trees in a landscape but held separate from the viewer by the glass of window or case.”

Bruce Cohen — Imago Galleries, Palm Desert

Generally associated with contemporary realism (a movement that reacted to Abstract Expressionism that once prevailed in postwar U.S. art), Santa Monica painter Bruce Cohen stands out in the genre for his meticulous compartmentalization and use of light and shadow. Precision, juxtaposition of muted and bright colors, and curious open doors and windows distinguish his canvases.

Charlie Bidwell — Exposure Gallery, Palm Springs

A master of using negative space in his photographic compositions, Bidwell is best known for his Americana images of 1950s signs and billboards. Familiar with many works reflecting iconic Southern California views (the Hollywood sign and the Ferris wheel in Santa Monica, for example), we’re eager to see his new work: a series of black-and-white abstract photographs involving alternative processing systems.

Theodore Waddell — J. Willot Gallery, Palm Desert

Abstraction of the human figure came to define so much Modern art. Waddell, a Montana rancher who makes cattle and horses his subjects, renders these figures in Post-Impressionist landscapes, with thick strokes of paint, resulting in canvases that resolve classic figure/ground relationships in a style that appeals beyond traditional Western painting. His paintings’ crossover appeal power his exhibition history, which spans more than 40 years.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

H3K Design Restores Midcentury Splendor to Palm Springs Home

Howard Hawkes and Kevin Kemper of H3K Design have restored a Palm Springs home in the Twin Palms neighborhood back to its original midcentury splendor, but in a very 21st-century fashion.

Watch Our Top 10 Palm Springs Hotel Videos

Watch our videos to discover what the hotel options are in the Greater Palm Springs area from well-known big names to small, boutique hotels.

The Palm Springs Hotel Continues Boutique Resurgence

The Palm Springs Hotel, set to open this fall, will bring an industrial take on midcentury modern design in North Palm Springs.

10 Things to Do in Greater Palm Springs This Weekend

Palm Springs Life helps plan out your weekend in Palm Springs and the desert resort cities with concerts, events, restaurants, nightlife, clubs and the world of entertainment only found in the desert.

Cool Jazz on a Hot Summer Day at Mission Hills Country Club

A hot summer day was the perfect time for more than 150 supporters of ACT for Multiple Sclerosis to gather at Mission Hills Country Club for cool jazz.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.