Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsman

"Most of these are private drawings to find out something, to make notations, or just to experiment.  You want to feel that these are things that will never be seen."
 - Wayne Thiebaud -


A small, yet great show, Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsman, has been on view at The Morgan Library since May.  I recently had the chance to make my way there, mostly to have a look at the Gainsborough drawing exhibit which was up until last Sunday.  Not knowing what to expect I walked into the gallery where works on paper with iconic imagery hang, pies, ice cream, and other sweet treats call out to the viewer with their richness of color.   
The subject matter is well known even to those who do not know about art, but what I felt was the biggest treat among the sweets on the walls are Thiebaud's "private" sketches.  Quickly drawn with pen and ink they capture moments and ideas as they come into the artist's periphery.  They are notes for possibilities, problem solving for compositions. 

I was immediately drawn to these, no pun intended.  Maybe it's the similarity of how we box in our ideas, or the use of pen.  Whatever it may be I felt like I was having an intimate conversation with the man himself.  It's a language very familiar to me and I was eating it up. 
I was happy with the selection on view but I craved to see more sheets, maybe even a number of sketchbooks.  It was like reading a few pages to a really good book and then the story stops.  Perhaps a larger exhibition dedicated to Thiebaud's sketches might not be so bad, I would definitely go and see it.

So what is it about pen drawings/sketches that are appealing?  On a personal level I love them because I can relate to them and allow me to understand the artist.  Sketchbooks and journals have become a thing, you can search the internet or log on to Instagram and find that not only are there many more people drawing but that there is a very large audience for it.  The amount of likes I get on Instagram on my sketchbooks is by far more than my actual "art work"(paintings and monotypes).  The reason is because those who don't draw, paint, or create are intrigued by the way the artist's mind works.  Sketches and sketchbooks are portals to places people don't experience in their daily lives, and through some marks on a page they hope to find some secret, something that will make them feel like they are part of the creative process of an artist.  So, if you are one of the legions of people who love this sort of stuff then this exhibition is for you! 
Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsan is on view at The Morgan Library until September 23, 2018.  For more information and for a cool video with the artists click here.

1 comment:

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thanks Luis!
Really nice to see some WT sketches I haven't seen before
Wish I could see this show.