“Reduction in a realist painting is the same as reducing a sauce. You take away by simplification, by leaving out details. But you also put in selective bits of other experiences, or perceptual nuances which enforce it, giving it more of a multi-dimension than if it were done directly as a visual recording.” - Wayne Thiebaud
Born in Mesa, Arizona, November 15, 1920, Thiebaud’s family moved to Los Angeles in 1921. In high school he became interested in stage design and lighting, and worked part-time at a movie theater where he made posters for lobby displays, 1935-1938. During this time he also worked as a summer apprentice program in the animation department of Walt Disney Studios, 1936. From 1942 to 1945, Thiebaud served in the Air Force, assigned to the Special Services Department as an artist and cartoonist, and eventually transferred to the First Air Force Motion Picture Unit, commanded by Ronald Reagan. He studied at San Jose State College and Sacramento State College, California where he received his B.A., 1951, and M.A., 1952. He was Instructor of Art, 1951-59, and Chairman of the Department of Art, 1954-57, at Sacramento City College. Thiebaud hit the American Art scene in the 1960’s as Pop Art was beginning to be recognized as ‘acceptable,’ and even though he was not a Pop artist, his chosen subject matter often associated him with this genre. Since 1960, Thiebaud has worked as Professor of Art, University of California at Davis.