Wayne Thiebaud - Pie Case
American, b.1920
Pie Case, 2002
Color direct gravure, aquatint and dry-point, 26 x 31.25 inches
Edition 35/40
Crown Point Press

Gift of Kathleen J. Crispell(LSA '67) and Thomas S. Porter (MBA '67)

Born in 1920, Theibaud is most commonly associated with the pop art movement even though his work predates the work of the classic pop artists. He was first recognized in the early 1960s for his paintings of pies, cakes, ice creams, hot dogs, and hamburgers - the foodstuff of American diners and bakery displays. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.

In Pie Case, Thiebaud characteristically simplifies and isolates his subject and abstracts his design to an ordering of basic shapes. In a rectangular glass case, he centers a triangular slice of pie on a circular plate, all of which rests in a setting abbreviated to two rectangles. Thiebaud has always claimed a formal approach that draws him to objects that are interesting in character and close at hand. He delights in the purely visual and steers away from the symbolic. And yet, the iconic presentation here of a piece of pie in an almost tabernacle-like display case has a haunting sacramental quality to it. Thiebaud has said that the specific foods he has chosen are drawn from what he calls "fragments of actual experience." They hold an emotional and poetic resonance that relates to nostalgic boyhood memories.