Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints, and Drawings

On view now – October 3, 2021
Presented by The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions
Organized by The Crocker Art Museum

Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) was raised in California and is today one of America’s greatest and most admired living artists. Appreciated for creating “a world of longing — a serene abundance that is always a windowpane away,” as Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker has stated, Thiebaud is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts (1994) and the Gold Medal for Painting from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2017). He made his reputation in the early 1960s with still lifes of comforting, ubiquitous foods, the type served at snack counters, cafeterias, and middle-class diners, such as pies and cakes, ice cream cones, lollipops, and other delectables painted with thick impasto, which at the same time evokes simpler times and places. By the mid-1960s, Thiebaud turned to the figure and then landscape and, in the 1970s, gained new recognition for his dramatic, vertiginous interpretations of the San Francisco cityscape. Many of these same qualities are exemplified in the artist’s sweeping, bird’s-eye portrayals of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta scenes, a group of paintings he started in the mid- 1990s.

Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints, and Drawings is an extensive, celebratory retrospective featuring the full range of the California artist’s achievements on canvas and paper. The exhibition of 100 objects in every medium and from every period of the artist’s practice spans the scope of his accomplishments in, as Crocker Art Museum curator Scott Shields asserts, “the redefinition of ordinary things or actions through scale, color, space, and light.” Wayne Thiebaud 100 provides a new appreciation of the artist’s subtle humor and technical accomplishment for those who have long enjoyed his work and those new to his art.

Wayne Thiebaud, Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Philip L. Ehlert in memory of Dorothy Evelyn Ehlert, 1974.12. © 2021 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.


 


Piece of Cake: Confectious Sculptures by Greely Myatt

June 27 – September 26, 2021
Mallory/Wurtzburger Exhibition

Over the course of his career, Memphis-based Greely Myatt has created sculptures and installations that master a delicate balance of the familiar and the unexpected, using everyday materials to create sophisticated works of art that are tinged with humor and irony. While his work does reveal influences of mid-twentieth-century Pop art, those precedents are translated through Myatt’s distinctively Southern dialect, making them completely accessible to regional audiences and likely somewhat exotic to the art audiences who have experienced his work in exhibitions across the United States and around the world. In addition to his own artistic practice, Myatt has mentored countless art students through his role as Professor of Art at University of Memphis.

Piece of Cake: Confectious Sculptures by Greely Myatt represents a very personal body of the artist’s work. For the past fifteen years, he has been creating sculptures of various confections—birthday cakes, cupcakes, ice cream cones, and other sweets—as gifts for friends celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and other milestones and holidays. These works are created using everyday materials to mouth-watering trompe l’oeil effect. For this exhibition, Myatt is creating a special work in honor of the one hundredth birthday of Wayne Thiebaud—an artist who has famously explored confections in his own career. Playfully seductive, Myatt’s sugary sculptures (many of which are being loaned by friends) exemplify the ingenuity and generosity of spirit that have helped him become one of the foremost artists working in the American South today.

Greely Myatt, Untitled, 2006. Wood and caulk. Private collection


 


Meet the Dixons

June 6 – September 26, 2021
Interactive Gallery 
Liz and Tommy Farnsworth Education Building 

Meet the man and woman who made it all happen. Margaret and Hugo Dixon’s dream to leave a special space to highlight art, nature, and beauty came true in 1976 with the opening of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Learn about their personal lives, their collections, and their legacy.



Borders: Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir

August 29, 2021 – April 23, 2022
On view in the gardens 

The work of Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir returns to the Dixon this fall with more than twenty sculptures from her Borders series. The Dixon first presented the artist’s Horizons series in our gardens in 2009 to great success. Now, Thorarinsdottir’s remarkable figural works will animate the Dixon’s property again through Borders. The sculptures are presented in pairs, one cast-iron and one aluminum, either standing or seated and often placed as if they are in a silent conversation. Thorarinsdottir’s figures are at once familiar and otherworldly, and their quiet aura invites viewers to contemplate the ways in which all humans are connected, despite our outward differences.

STEINUNN THÓRARINSDÓTTIR, Borders, 2009-11; Cast iron and cast aluminum, Courtesy of the artist

 


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