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Richard Diebenkorn Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)
Diebenkorn is known for large-scale luminous abstractions devoted to the delicate balance between surface modulation and illusionistic depth; the establishment of structure and its dissolution in light and space. He grew up in San Francisco, studied at Stanford University, served in the Marines in WWII, and taught at the California School of Fine Arts and UCLA. From 1966 to 1988 he painted at his Ocean Park studio in Santa Monica.
Ocean Park #124
Cigarette Butts
Spade Group
Seated Figure
Reclining Figure


Ocean Park #124
1980, 93 1/8 x 81 1/8 in. Oil on canvas.
The youngest of the original Bay Area Figurative painters, Richard Diebenkorn turned from abstract to representational painting in 1955. Inspired by Paul CÚzanne and Henri Matisse, he painted beautifully colored landscapes and figures, as intent on revealing underlying geometric structures as on capturing the brilliant California light. In 1966 he moved to Santa Monica and the following year returned to abstraction with the series of Ocean Park paintings that would occupy the rest of his career. Focusing on a strip of Pacific coastline, he transformed the scene into increasingly simplified planes and lines. At once improvisational and highly disciplined, abstract yet rooted in nature, these subtly hued paintings are lyrical embodiments of space and light.
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