Working Proof

Working Proof: Wayne Thiebaud as Printmaker


Revealing the artist’s process, the prints in this exhibition invite viewers into a virtual classroom with Professor Emeritus Wayne Thiebaud, whose teaching career at UC Davis spanned more than four decades and helped shape the lives of thousands of students. Gifts to the university from Thiebaud and his family, the prints represent his continued commitment to the UC Davis community.

Although he is better known as a painter, Thiebaud has also been a prolific printmaker throughout his career. Printmaking is an integral part of Thiebaud’s artistic process as he investigates the effects of line, color, pattern and composition. The works in this exhibition exemplify what Thiebaud calls his constant search— his continuing inquiry into the process of making images. Experimenting with diverse printing processes such as etching, serigraph and woodcut, the techniques produce vastly different effects even when the subjects and compositions are similar.  

All of the prints on view here are proofspreliminary works produced as part of the printing process. Some represent earlier experiments, working proofs and trial proofs that are modified by hand with pencil, pen and colors. Other proofs are more finished, close to what will become the final edition. Thiebaud saves many of these prints and returns to them, sometimes decades later, as he reworks them by hand and experiments with new possibilities for familiar images. 

Exhibition Curator
Quintana Heathman, Curatorial Assistant


Working Proof - An Introduction to the Exhibition


Thiebaud's Cows: Exploring Composition and Printmaking


Wayne Thiebaud at Crown Point Press, 2019