About The Artist
Associated with both the Bay Area Figurative Art movement and abstract expressionism, California painter Richard Diebenkorn developed a distinct vocabulary of intersecting lines and geometric forms augmented by chromatic undercurrents. Born in Oregon and raised in San Francisco, Diebenkorn used his G.I. Bill courtesy the U.S. Marine Corps to study at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), where he became a faculty member in 1947. After his Sausalito Period series of paintings, he moved with his wife and children to Albuquerque and enrolled at the University of New Mexico. The Albuquerque Period paintings–with abstract organic forms filled with bright colors–established Diebenkorn on the American art scene. As both his style and work ethic evolved, he achieved more gallery exhibitions in San Francisco and New York, as well as teaching positions at the University of Illinois and the San Francisco Art Institute. He produced sophisticated abstract designs in his Berkeley Period series during the 1950s, yet his 1960s landscapes depict a sudden turn to figurative works.
After relocating to Santa Monica to teach at the University of California, Los Angeles, Diebenkorn commenced his most chromatically original paintings, the Ocean Park series of more than 140 pieces, which he explored for the following two decades until 1988. He concentrated on formal concerns in his monumental abstract compositions, which included allusions to the landscape. In 1988 Diebenkorn returned to the Bay Area, and built a studio in Healdsburg, CA. After a heart attack in 1989, the artist moved away from his typically large canvas work, and instead created a series of gouache drawings and two etchings made at Crown Point Press, San Francisco, in 1991 and 1992. He died the following year.
Richard Diebenkorn enjoyed two major retrospectives throughout the 1980s, including a traveling exhibition of works on paper that was organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work can be viewed in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
"RD Biography.”Richard Diebenkorn Catalogue Raisonné. The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, 2014. Web. 4 June 2015. Glenn, Constance W. "The Collection: About This Artist." MoMA. Oxford University Press, 2009. Web. 4 June 2015.