The Fondation Beyeler is devoting the first individual exhibition in the German-speaking world to American painter Wayne Thiebaud (1920–2021). Thiebaud, who initially started out as a graphic designer and briefly worked for Walt Disney Studios’ animation department, depicted the promise and profusion of the “American way of life” in his paintings of cream cakes, pie slices, candies and cupcakes. Next to such still lifes, the exhibition features figure paintings as well as multi-perspective cityscapes and landscapes, showcasing the painter’s versatility and dazzling technique. His highly sophisticated use of colour seems to breathe life into his motifs and creates a distinctive atmosphere that balances nostalgia, melancholy, irony and humour.
Featuring 65 works on loan from mainly American museums and private collections, this retrospective presents the key periods of the artist’s work and invites viewers to explore his visual world and virtuoso painting technique.