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Wayne Thiebaud at Museo Morandi

Museo Morandi
4 March - 2 October 2011

Wayne Thiebaud, born in Arizona in 1920, is considered a key figure in contemporary American art. Often associated to Pop Art, Thiebaud has nonetheless always refused to be ascribed to any artistic movement, just like Morandi. If, on the one hand, his subjects of choice seem to bring him close to Pop artists – symbols of consumer culture such as candy, sweets, chewing gum, hot gods, cosmetics, toys – on the other hand the absence of both critique and celebration of American culture, the technical research, the slow, materic, grainy brushstrokes, the attention to perspective and formal, geometrical aspects of composition used to depict the soul of those objects set Thiebaud far apart from the mechanical, impersonal clichés of Pop painting in general.

If, on the one hand, Thiebaud’s and Morandi’s still lives and landscapes can seem very distant in their inspirations and context, on the other hand a deeper scrutiny reveals strong affinities: an interest for everyday objects, simplified so as to become purely formal elements, the tendency to align them in strictly ordered progressions, the apparent repetition of representations, the study of variants, the aesthetic isolation of objects or groups thereof, the search of strong visual impact through a deep attention to light, form and brushstroke quality. The juxtaposition of their work reveals a shared tendency to subjectively interpret and reconstruct visual reality in conformity to their inner vision.