Candy Counter 1962
Wayne Thiebaud is well known for his images of food, ranging from lollipops to display cakes. During the early 1960s, he was identified with Pop Art—a connection he was quick to disclaim. Yet his own background in commercial art affect the way he handled subject matter. In Candy Counter, he heightens the intensity of the color so that orange and green candies seem to vibrate with an improbable brightness, suggesting the chromatic enhancement common in advertising art. The bands of complimentary colors edging the class and candy create a flicker reminiscent of the fluorescent light in a cafeteria or candy store. Through his brushwork, Thiebaud conveys the tactile duality of his subject. He virtually frosts the surface of the canvas with paint to suggest the rippling of fudge or the shiny stickiness of caramel. Isolated in a cold, ambiguous environment, the various sweets become a means for formal exploration and finally works of art in themselves, displayed in a glass case.