On Our Radar: Richard Diebenkorn’s Work of Art
“When I am halfway there with a painting, it can occasionally be thrilling… But it happens very rarely; usually it’s agony. I go to great pains to mask the agony. But the struggle is there. It’s the invisible enemy.” — Richard Diebenkorn
Richard Diebenkorn was a versatile and influential 20th-century American painter who, over the course of a long career, defied convention and worked in several distinct aesthetic periods. Born on April 22, 1922 in Portland, OR, he grew up in San Francisco and traveled extensively. He initially painted in the manner of Abstract Expressionism, creating gestural, compositionally balanced works. By the 1950s his focus had changed towards painting directly from observation—highly unfashionable at the time, and considered retrograde by many critics. Diebenkorn’s foray into figuration lasted until the winter of 1966, when he embarked on a new series of abstract works employing a personal, geometric style. This culminated in his celebrated Ocean Park series, which consisted of some 135 paintings which he continued to work on until his death.
Take A Look at Some of Diebenkorn’s Work of Art: