Friday, March 2, 2012

Diebenkorn Retrospective: I Need A Magic Ticket

Ocean Park, #24, 1969

If an airline ticket to go anywhere magically appeared, I would go to California to see a retrospective of Richard Diebenkorn at the Orange County Museum. The retrospective is the first major museum exhibition of Diebenkorn's Ocean Park Series.  The show includes, paintings, prints, drawings, and collages.

Although I've seen the Ocean Park paintings in books, reproductions only show a surface quality of the paintings.  The paintings are about the beautiful light quality in the neighborhood by the ocean in Santa Monica, California. Like a  Matisse painting, the color in Diebenkorn's paintings are difficult to capture in photographs (Diebenkorn studied Matisse paintings early on, and was influenced by his interest in interior space and color).  Like deKooning, a proceeding abstract expressionist, Diebenkorn worked and re-worked his canvas and paper, often leaving subtle drips, underpainting, or texture from scrapes.

Diebenkorn worked on the Ocean Park paintings from 1967 through 1988.  The Ocean Park Series will be on view at the Orange County Museum until May 27, 2012.  An older book version of the Ocean Park Series is available in the stacks at the Murphy Art and Architecture Library. Diebenkorn's 1959 painting Interior With A Book is on view at the Nelson Atkins Museum.  The new hardcover 256 page book about the exhibtion is available for $65.00.

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