Wayne Thiebaud, studio visit

Vonn Sumner had a studio visit with Wayne Thiebaud on the occasion of the exhibition Wayne Thiebaud: American Memories at The Laguna Art Museum. The exhibition ranges from 1959 to now, because like most painters, he's still painting. I'll let Sumner explain...

While most people half his age are searching for their car keys, Wayne Thiebaud, now 93, peppers conversations with literary references and recalls in vivid, sensual detail the coat that Hans Hoffman wore at an art reception 50 years ago—“it was so thick that it looked like pressed horse manure; it was about that color.” Thiebaud’s memory represents an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of painting, and a firsthand memory of much of 20th-century America. 
Many contemporary painters rely upon photographs for reference; Thiebaud paints solely from memory. Some writers have described his memory as being “photographic,” which always struck me as a misnomer: a photograph is a single frozen optical moment, a human memory is fluid and full of sensory information and nuance. more
Wayne Thiebaud, Dessert Circle, 1992-1994, Art © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Thiebaud at his studio, photo by Vonn Sumner, 2014
Wayne Thiebaud, "24th Street Intersection," 1977. Private collection/artchive.com


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