About the Artist

The Artist’s Collection

It is tempting to see the artworks that David Thauberger has collected over the years as a kind of how-to manual for his own work. Indeed, Thauberger is fascinated by popular efforts during the 1950s to teach the public how to make art, whether through Jon Gnagy’s television show You Are an Artist or paint-by-number kits. But a look at what he has collected points to a purpose beyond that of a catalogue of techniques. In the funk work of David Gilhooly, Jim Nutt, Roy De Forest, and William Wiley—artists he met during his student days in Regina and California—Thauberger was learning important lessons about how personal experience, no matter how strange or off the beaten track, could be brought into art. Later, while working at the Saskatchewan Arts Board, he made similar discoveries through his first-hand encounters with folk artists such as Wesley Dennis, Ann Harbuz, Molly Lenhardt, and W.C. McCargar. Other works engage popular culture, whether through the surrealist lens of the Chicago Imagists, such as Ed Paschke and Roger Brown, or through the filter of pop graphic design, as seen in works by Patrick Caulfield, Roy Lichtenstein and Jim Dine.

In a sense, his collection can be seen as a record of his apprenticeship in alternative ways of looking at the world. On a broader level, Thauberger’s collection registers the intricate web of transactions between himself and an extended circle of artists, including Saskatchewan colleagues Joe Fafard and Vic Cicansky. His collection offers a persuasive reading of an entire community as they discovered the extraordinary possibilities concealed in the ‘back 40’ of art and experience.


Patrick Caulfield
Black and White Café, 1972-73
screenprint on paper
Collection of Veronica and David Thauberger
© Estate of Patrick Caulfield / SODRAC (2014)

David Gilhooly - St. George, 1969. ceramic, glaze, china paint
David Gilhooly
St. George and the Dragon, 1969
earthenware, glaze, china paint
Collection of Veronica and David Thauberger


W. C. McCargar, Midnite Express, circa 1962. oil and crayon on masonite
W. C. McCargar
Midnite Express, circa 1962
oil and crayon on masonite
Collection of Veronica and David Thauberger