Richard Diebenkorn
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1922, Diebenkorn moved with his family to San Francisco in 1924. After briefly attending Stanford University from 1940 to 1942, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, during which time he visited museums on the East Coast and made many sketches. Afterwards, in 1946, he enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts, but quickly received a fellowship to study painting in New York for a year. When he returned to San Francisco in 1947, he became a faculty member at the California School of Fine Arts, and the following year received his first solo exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. He went on to receive an M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in 1951. Throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, Diebenkorn’s paintings, drawings, and prints contained a distinctive abstract vocabulary of forms stylistically rooted in the New York School. However, in 1955 he and a number of other Bay Area artists shifted from abstraction to a more representational mode, forming what is known as the Bay Area Figurative School. Diebenkorn executed still lifes, landscapes, and interior portraits that exemplify his finely tuned sense of color and structure until 1967, when he relocated to Santa Monica to teach at UCLA and began his Ocean Park series. He received great acclaim for these large, abstract, brilliantly colored paintings and drawings. Diebenkorn continued to explore color and structured yet non-figurative compositions throughout the 1970s and 80s, creating his first prints using color in 1980 at Crown Point Press, San Francisco, where he had worked regularly since 1962. Diebenkorn continued to create paintings, drawings, and prints until his death in Berkeley, California in 1993. Diebenkorn has been the subject of innumerable solo museum and gallery exhibitions, including a retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art that travelled throughout the United States in 1997. A major recent exhibition presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern art and Baltimore Museum of Art showcased Diebenkorn alongside works by Matisse in 2016.