I wanted pie (see yesterday’s heartfelt post) and California came through for me. The Pasadena Museum of California Art has covered its majestic walls with 70 years’ of paintings by “Mr. Pie” himself, Wayne Thiebaud.
The publicity postcard for the show — pictured above with many of its fellows in a lucite postcard holder in Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Thousand Oaks — sports a painting by Thiebaud that belies his most persistent obsession. Look, Mr. Thiebaud has persuaded a couple of comely girls to model awkwardly for his canvas, but we all know that the subject closest to his heart — and to his saturated colors, goopy paint and size XXL brushstrokes — is not girls, but pie.
Whole pie, less than whole pie, pie by the slice, and pie of every flavor: this is Thiebaud’s beat.
Like so much else in the L.A. area, the pie is not edible — indeed, beyond the thickness of Thiebaud’s dramatic impasto, it isn’t even three dimensional — but it is bright, larger than life, and in living color. It will have to do for now.
The show opened yesterday. I hope to get there before the harvest moon’s third quarter. When I have given the Thiebaud retrospective the close scrutiny it demands, I will tell you all about it or about something else entirely.