Palo Alto

Wayne Theibaud

Stanford Art Gallery

Although both David Park and Wayne Thiebaud would be termed figurative painters, the differences between them are more immediately apparent than their similarities. Thiebaud came into prominence a year or so after Park died. His position just outside the general Bay Area Figurative scheme is as peculiar as Park’s was within it; neither of them ever fit the penumbral psychologizing mold, as it developed, to the extent, say, that Elmer Bischoff preeminently did. Park was, and Thiebaud is, a painter of discrete images located in spaces charged by scrutiny, as well as by the manner of depiction. One difference is that Park’s spaces tended to be filled up as extensions of his subjects’ flesh, and Thiebaud’s, until recently, have been bare repositories for mostly impersonal objects. Another has to do with background: Park’s work was rooted (however shallowly) in a latter-day beaux-arts tradition,

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