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Candy Suckers, December 15, 1967

Wayne Thiebaud

American, 1920-
Lithograph on Rives BFK paper
sheet: 16 x 22 in. (40.6 x 55.9 cm); image: 8 x 14-1/4 in. (20.3 x 36.2 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist, 1968
P.1968.13.01
Art © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Not on view

Wayne Thiebaud is best known for frosting opulently textured canvases with rich layers of paint, depicting row upon row of cakes, pies and other delectable delights. While growing up in Long Beach, Thiebaud worked in a local café behind a pie counter and cake case, which must have left an impression on him in these formative years.

Thiebaud’s Candy Suckers was printed at Gemini G.E.L. on December 15, 1967. The lithographic process suited the subject matter well, as it lended itself to mimicking the automated assembly line that would have produced these sugary lollipops. Thiebaud created two different states using red and black inks, emphasizing the mechanical process used to create consumables, art and confection alike.

The artist said in 1968: “If you take the notion of mass production, the thing that interests me about it is if you paint with or without mechanical aids of any kind, you can only make your image superficially like the original. The concept of close discriminations combined with the notion of how much alike yet how different an image can be is a fascinating proposal.”


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