FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 28, 2007 – January 27, 2008--
Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting
SHAG: The Flesh Is Willing
Family Connections: St. Mary’s & All Angels Schoo
California Art from the Permanent Collection
Greetings from Laguna Beach: Our Town in the Early 1900s




307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Contact:  Christina Limson, 949.494.8971, ext. 208
949.494.8971, extension 200 for general Museum information; Fax 949.494.1530
E-mail, climson@lagunaartmuseum.org
Web site, http://www.lagunaartmuseum.org
Mon.-Wed. & Fri.: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs.: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


(Left)  “Bakery Case”, 1996, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 in.  Art © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
(Top right) "Saffron", 2007, acrylic on canvas, 56" x 56”.  Art © Shag
(Bottom right) "Lilac", 2007, acrylic on Canvas, 56" x 56". Art © Shag

Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting
is a survey of this major American painter’s work. The show traces the development of Thiebaud’s signature style but also includes some of his lesser known figural and beach paintings.
 
Wayne Thiebaud’s recent series of beach paintings is a reflection of the painter’s youth, dating back to the 1920s and 1930s in Long Beach, California. As a teenager Thiebaud (born November 23, 1920) served as a city lifeguard which provided him a unique perspective of coastline activities. It was here that the first impression of beach culture made its mark on his memory.
 
Thiebaud received his Master’s from Sacramento State and later became an assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis—where he would remain through the 1970s. It was during his tenure at UC Davis that Thiebaud would create some of his most iconic works.
 
 
By the early 1960s, he began to focus on objects of mass culture such as pies, cakes, and pinball machines creating the essential Thiebaud aesthetic: simplified geometric forms executed in rich, dense colors. Laguna Art Museum Director Bolton Colburn states, “Although Thiebaud was included in the first museum exhibition of the Pop Art movement, organized by Walter Hopps for the Pasadena Art Museum in 1962, and was featured in Lucy Lippard’s seminal book on Pop Art in 1966, the artist has never really had an allegiance to any particular style or subject matter. In fact, he began creating images of common objects as early as 1953, long before the emergence of Pop Art.”
 
Thiebaud experienced acclaimed success with his series of “found” objects and landscape paintings. As a result, he sought inspiration elsewhere in hopes of breaking away from the predictability that accompanied such iconic imagery. By the 1980s he began to extend his brief trips to Laguna Beach, a beachside community that brought back vivid memories of his upbringing in Long Beach. It was these childhood remembrances that first inspired the beach bathers theme explored in his 1959 painting Beach Boys.
 
Now almost fifty years later, Thiebaud continues to find inspiration in Southern California beach culture. Incorporating a freshly minted style, the works include a broader exploration of emotion and content that vivify his waning formal conventions.
 
The exhibition will present works from different periods of Thiebaud’s career with an emphasis on his beach culture series. Guest curator Gene Cooper says, “He (Thiebaud) is a painter at the age of 87 whose unfinished oeuvre portrays a discerning self-portrait in progress. It has long been his practice to mine his near-photographic memory for salient images that signify his past. Whether it’s a display of nostalgic candy apples or recollections of Southern California’s beach culture, they are primary forms that mark his life’s journey as well as illustrating his warm humanist values. In the world of art, Thiebaud remains as America’s vox populi”.
 
Laguna Art Museum has the privilege of hosting an exhibition by one of the twentieth century’s acknowledged masters. Guest curator Gene Cooper will also host a gallery walk-though on November 11 at 1:00 p.m. A conversation with Wayne Thiebaud and Constance Glenn has been rescheduled for November 18 at 1:00 p.m.
 
This exhibition will include a full color catalog that will be available at the Museum Store and online.

UPPER LEVEL EXHIBITION

The Flesh Is Willing combines two of the artist’s pictorial interests, nudes and
purgatory, in an investigation of 50s cocktail culture and the notion of sin.  
 
This exhibition was inspired by a recent trip to the Prado in Madrid, where Shag viewed the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel in person for the first time.  Bosch's work The Garden of Earthly Delights, center panel of his famous triptych depicting Paradise, Earth and Hell, was of particular interest to the artist. Shag was struck by Bosch’s grand depiction of the earthly delights and began to analyze the effect of this iconography on modern culture.
 
The centerpiece of The Flesh is Willing will be a large triptych with the artist’s interpretation of Paradise, Earth and Hell as seen through consumerism and consumption à la America in the 1950s.   Shag will also address the implementation of punishment and fear, used as a deterrent against indulgences, with three interactive pieces created from vintage arcade games where users can play and determine in advance what their fate will be.
 
Josh Agle (better known as Shag, a contraction of the last two letters of his first name and the first two letters of his last) is a painter, illustrator, and designer working in southern California. This will be Agle’s first major museum exhibition. In conjunction with the exhibition Agle will present a lecture on December 9 at 1:00 p.m.
 
About Laguna Art Museum
Laguna Art Museum is well known for breaking new ground in the study of American art and popular culture from a West Coast perspective. The eclectic mix of artists featured reflect the Museum’s unique exhibition schedule which presents a blending of historical, contemporary, and popular culture exhibitions throughout the year.  Laguna Art Museum’s exhibitions, which travel nationally and internationally, are accompanied by publications exemplifying the scholarship of the Museum’s staff and associates and are valuable reference works on the history of art and culture in the United States.  
 
Upcoming Exhibitions at Laguna Art Museum
Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting (October 28, 2007 – January 27, 2008) MAIN LEVEL
SHAG: The Flesh Is Willing (October 28, 2007 – January 27, 2008) UPPER LEVEL
California Art from the Permanent Collection (continuing)
Greetings from Laguna Beach: Our Town in the Early 1900s (continuing)
 
Museum Information
Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's days.
Hours:
Monday through Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
First Thursday of the month: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Media Contact
If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Christina Limson, Communications Manager at (949) 494-8971 x208 or at climson@lagunaartmuseum.org



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