Richard
Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn, an influential American painter and printmaker, is celebrated for his unique blend of Abstract Expressionism and representational art, characterised by luminous colours and bold, fluid forms. If you’re looking for original Richard Diebenkorn prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.

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Biography

Born in 1922 in Portland, Oregon, Richard Diebenkorn grew up in San Francisco, where the vivid Californian landscapes would later influence his renowned collections. He studied art at Stanford University, followed by further education at the California School of Fine Arts and the University of New Mexico. These formative years saw Diebenkorn experimenting with various styles, initially drawing influence from European masters like Pablo Picasso before gradually evolving toward Abstract Expressionism. His early work showcased a remarkable adeptness for both abstract and figurative painting, setting the stage for his later signature style that fused these two approaches.

Diebenkorn's career reached new heights in the 1950s and 1960s, marked by his celebrated Ocean Park series, which became synonymous with his name. These works, known for their ethereal, geometric abstractions, displayed a masterful blend of colour, light, and form. His paintings from this period are noted for their emotional depth and the way they oscillate between abstraction and figuration, a duality that became a hallmark of his work. Diebenkorn's contributions were recognised through numerous awards and retrospectives, solidifying his position as a key figure in post-war American art.

After his initial exploration of various styles, Diebenkorn's participation in the Bay Area Figurative Movement during the 1950s marked a significant turn. Collaborating with artists like David Park, this period saw him explore figurative painting, a contrast to the dominant Abstract Expressionist trend of the time. This move not only distinguished Diebenkorn but also contributed to a broader reinvigoration of figurative art in American painting.

A notable turning point in Diebenkorn's career was his return to abstraction in the late 1960s, leading to the creation of his acclaimed Ocean Park series. This series, a culmination of his mastery in blending abstraction with hints of landscape forms, is considered a hallmark in post-war American art. Exhibitions of the Ocean Park series received widespread acclaim and significantly elevated his standing in the art community.

Diebenkorn's commitment to printmaking, particularly in the 1980s, demonstrated his versatility and contributed to a resurgence of interest in this medium. His collaborations with renowned print workshops like Crown Point Press were instrumental in this process, showcasing his ability to translate his works into prints.