David Thauberger

About the Artist

David Thauberger is originally from Holdfast, Saskatchewan, but has been living in Regina, Saskatchewan and maintaining a studio as a full-time artist since 1973. As a young man, Thauberger had no plans to become an artist, but taking a class from Russell Yuristy in the late 1960s caught his interest and he realized he had a passion for the creative process.

Thauberger began his artistic career using  clayMud; moist, sticky dirt. In ceramics, clay is the basic material, usually referring to any of a certain variety of mixtures of such ingredients — fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet, brittle when dry, and very hard when heated. There is a temperature with ceramic clays at which their particles fuse (vitrification), and this is most commonly controlled by heating (firing) them in a kiln. The most common types of ceramic clays are earthenware (terra cotta when fired, terra cruda when not), stonewares, and porcelain. (Artlex.com)  as his  mediumAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  and under the influence of David Gilhooly, he developed a "funk" art  styleA way of doing something. Use of materials, methods of working, design qualities and choice of subject matter reflect the style of the individual, culture, movement, or time period.  of working. Thauberger gradually switched from clay  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  to painting around 1974. He had no formal training in painting but, many of his clay techniques, such as building up the form,  tactileOf or relating to the sense of touch. (artlex.com)  manipulation, and creating textural surface carried over into his painting. The humour inherent in "funk"  ceramicsPottery or hollow clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln or oven to make them harder and stronger. Types include earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, and terra cotta. (Artlex.com)  is also evident in many of his paintings.

Thauberger has a great appreciation for  folk artThe production of art by untrained amateurs for their own enjoyment. Style in folk art is influenced by a combination of the artist’s culture and art history.  painters and, like them he observes his surroundings and  popular cultureLow (as opposed to high) culture, parts of which are known as kitsch and camp. With the increasing economic power of the middle- and lower-income populace since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century, artists created various new diversions to answer the needs of these groups. These have included pulp novels and comic books, film, television, advertising, "collectibles," and tract housing. These have taken the place among the bourgeois once taken among the aristocracy by literature, opera, theater, academic painting, sculpture, and architecture. But modernist artists rarely cultivated the popular success of these new cultural forms. Modernist works were little appreciated outside of a small elite. Life magazine's 1950s articles on the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), and the silkscreened paintings by Andy Warhol (American, 1928?-1987) of soup cans and celebrities signaled unprecedented fusions between high and low art and the transition to the postmodern age. (Artlex.com)  to inform his practice. Critic Joan Murray has called him a “master of popular images.” (Murray, 1986)

Thauberger usually uses a direct view of a carefully selected subject in his painting compositions. His subject matter often celebrates a unique character or a place in the world, but it does not reference any specific human being. His style of painting uses extremely clean lines and intense colour. Thauberger is not afraid of breaking traditional boundaries and he is always open to developing new ideas.

David Thauberger has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus. He earned a Master of Arts degree from California State University, Sacramento and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana in Missoula.


Adding Physical Elements to His Painting
How He Got His Start
How Saskatchewan Folk Artists Influenced His Work
Interview with Timothy Long - Funk Art and the Regina Clay Movement
The Driving Rain
Using a Camera as a Sketching Tool & Using Tape to Mask an Image
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning