Richard Diebenkorn by Gerald Nordland
New York : Rizzoli, 1996. Hardcover. 248 pages : illustrations ; 32 cm. A nice clean copy with unmarked pages and firm binding.
Richard Diebenkorn is among the small number of American artists to have achieved greatness. Internationally acclaimed, he was recognized in the late 1940s as an important abstract expressionist painter and has continued to create works—in different modes but with a clear, personal voice—that astound in their intricate interplay between formal rigor and luminous, sensual color.
This first full-scale monograph presents a rich selection of the artist's oeuvre, much of which has never before been reproduced outside of exhibition catalogs or in large format and full color. Once considered primarily a "western" painter, Diebenkorn has long shed that distinction, although he works, as he has for most of his life, in California. For the past twenty. years he has been producing a series of large abstract paintings—for which he is today perhaps most well known—each of which is numbered and titled Ocean Park after the beach side community where he works. Reminiscent of Matisse in color and Mondrian in geometry, these are some of the most remarkable accomplishments of twentieth-century art. Until the mid-1950s, however, he painted in the abstract expressionist tradition then in vogue (synthesizing, as he has since, such disparate influences as de Kooning, Gorky, Hopper, and Cézanne) before turning (unfashionably) to figurative painting along with artists David Park and Elmer Bischoff. In each 'phase" he has been acknowledged as a master.
Along with several hundred reproductions of the artist's work, critic Gerald Nordland provides a thoughtful and informative study of Diebenkorn's life and career, a comprehensive exhibition history, and a selected bibliography.
Gerald Nordland is an art critic and museum administrator whose work has appeared in many national and international publications. A contributor to Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Drawings, 1943— 1980, he is also the author of Gaston Lachaise: The Man and His Work. As a museum director, he has held positions at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery at the University of California in Los Angeles. A commentator on the life and art of Richard Diebenkorn for over twenty-five years, Nordland is a Guggenheim Fellow.
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