Sally Grant reviews Wayne Thiebaud: Land Survey at Allan Stone Projects, New York, on view through December 23, 2017.
Grant writes: “Thiebaud has frequently revisited certain motifs over the course of his long career and has mastered their painterly enticement. Whether the subject is a cake or a cloud, the artist’s consummate rendering seduces the viewer both as a representational image and as an exploration of color and form. But what gives Thiebaud’s images a particular piquancy is the way they often combine the playful and the pleasurable—that solitary cow in a bucolic landscape—with the poignant—the sense of isolation that the single cow and the lonely house on the hill evoke. This melancholic effect is enhanced by the way the landscapes beckon the would-be traveler like a siren’s song while their compositional viewpoints bar access. The beholder is always elsewhere.”