Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Richard Diebenkorn- Current Exhibit

Currently at the Orange County Museum of Art is the 

Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series

feb 26, 2012 - may 27, 2012
Featuring approximately 80 works—including paintings,
 prints, drawings, and collages—this exhibition captures
 Diebenkorn’s practice of working simultaneously in 
diverse media and provides audiences with the first 
 opportunity to explore the complexity of Diebenkorn’s
 artistic and aesthetic concerns in this seminal body of work.

850 San Clemente Drive
Newport Beach, California  
Museum Hours


Wed- Sun 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thurs 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Richard Diebenkorn (April 22, 1922 – March 30, 1993) was a well-known 20th century American painter.  His early work is associated with Abstract expressionism  and the Bay area Figurative Movement  of the 1950s and 1960s. His later work (best known as the Ocean Park paintings) were instrumental to his achievement of worldwide acclaim.

Richard Diebenkorn in front of “Ocean Park #59” at his studio at Ashland and Main in Santa Monica in 1972. ( Gilbert Lloyd / Orange County Museum of Art )  LA Times

"One of the most important hallmarks of the Ocean Park paintings, evident from the very beginning, is that each one creates its own, self-contained chromatic universe, and each functions within that universe in a structurally self-sufficient way. The sheer complexity of incident within each painting, to say nothing of their comparative serial complexity, is unrivaled in the abstract painting of the period. It might well be argued that, in this sense, Mark Rothko takes a distant second place to Richard Diebenkorn.
"The first-period Ocean Park paintings are characterized by strong diagonals, often disposed like beams holding up the surface of the picture. The paintings have a sturdily synthetic character, as though blocks of color and texture were being moved around and built upon one another, sometimes directly abutting, sometimes separated by masking-like strips….The result is a picture trying to look like an enormous montage, the painting seemingly sectioned out, cut, and reassembled on the surface. Everything sits right on this surface, yet everything implies some idea of overlapping planes. A number of contradictory things are happening at once, all within a relatively reduced palette….
"One of the central defining principles of the Ocean Park paintings is precisely the dichotomy between the improvisatory character Diebenkorn acknowledges and the effect of agonizing discipline they convey. These paintings above all reveal a process of intense re-thinking - and yet many of them are among the most lyrical and highly decorative images in the modernist tradition….
"The interpretation of these works as either landscapes or cityscapes is well off the mark. The Ocean Park paintings were intended as - and remain - highly metaphorical spatial and chromatic explorations."-Jane Livingston

 "Berkeley #57" 1955

Ocean Park #79

In addition to certain artists, Diebenkorn admits to being influenced by such musicians as Bach Hayden, Mozart and Beethoven and such poets as Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, William Butler Yeats and Wallace Stevens.

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