A Seller's Guide To Richard Diebenkorn

Seated Woman Drinking From A Cup by Richard Diebenkorn - MyArtBroker Seated Woman Drinking From A Cup © Richard Diebenkorn 1965
Leah Mentzis

Leah Mentzis, Partnerships Manager[email protected]

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Richard Diebenkorn?

Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn

15 works

Renowned for his distinctive style and mastery of colour and form, American artist Richard Diebenkorn made significant contributions to abstract expressionism. His renowned Ocean Park series catapulted him to global acclaim. Diebenkorn's artistic journey was nomadic, spanning the East to West Coast of the United States, influenced by various modern artists, he continuously expanded his artistic horizons, experimenting with various mediums and delving into the realm of printmaking. This seller’s guide explores the intricacies of Diebenkorn's print market, offering vital insights for collectors and investors.

How Much Do Richard Diebenkorn Prints Sell For?

Diebenkorn's artistic journey began at a young age, nurturing his drawing skills early on. According to the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, he produced approximately 5,000 unique works throughout his lifetime. In the 1960s, he embarked on collaborations with various print studios, notably Crown Point Press and later Arion Press.

Crown Point Press published his inaugural suite of prints, titled 41 Etchings Drypoints, featuring thirteen bound volumes and twelve unbound folios. This seminal series reflects Diebenkorn’s admiration for Modern master Henri Matisse, showcasing his explorative movement between abstraction and figuration. The series' debut print on the secondary market was #37, from 41 Etchings Drypoints, and Artist Proof, in 1989, fetching £2,166 with fees at Christie’s. Works from this series continue to command prices in the several thousands of dollars range.

Diebenkorn also collaborated with Arion Press to produce Poems of W. B. Yeats. Among his most sought-after prints are those from the 1980s, including Green (1986), Blue (1984), High Green Version I and High Green Version II, both completed in 1992. Complementing his acclaimed Ocean Park series, these prints provide an accessible gateway into Diebenkorn's artistic realm compared to his paintings. With values reaching into the hundreds of thousands, these are Diebenkorn’s highest valued and most sought after prints.

Green by Richard Diebenkorn - MyArtBroker Image © Sotheby's / Green © Richard Diebenkorn 1986

How Do You Authenticate a Richard Diebenkorn Print?

Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation offers valuable resources for verifying the authenticity of Diebenkorn prints. While they do not authenticate prints directly, they provide digital access to publications and archival materials containing prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptural objects. In 2016, the Foundation collaborated with Yale University Press to release Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, serving as the authoritative reference for all known unique works by the artist. Currently, there is no volume dedicated to cataloguing Diebenkorn’s prints, but the Foundation has indicated plans for such an endeavour in the future.

Richard Diebenkorn Print Publications: The Crown Press and Tamarind Institute

Analysing the authenticity of Diebenkorn’s prints is best done in chronological order by collection. His initial print series, 41 Etchings Drypoints, was created between 1963 and 1965, each dated accordingly. This collection consists of 13 books and 12 portfolios, in an edition of 25 plus various proofs. During this period, Diebenkorn also explored lithography as a guest at the then Tamarind Lithography Workshop, now the Tamarind Institue, producing works like Cup and Saucer (1965) and Untitled (1961). Lithographic pieces from the Tamarind Institute range in edition size from 15 to 50, with additional proofs. After this initial phase, Diebenkorn paused his printmaking until 1977 when he resumed working with Crown Press. His subsequent series, Nine Drypoints and Etchings, was released in an edition of 25 portfolios of 9 prints, also in editions of 25 plus proofs. Diebenkorn’s most sought-after prints emerged in the 1980s, featuring coloured depictions reminiscent of his iconic Ocean Park series. Edition sizes for these prints vary, ranging in edition size anywhere from 35 to 200.


Cup and Saucer by Richard Diebenkorn - MyArtBroker Image © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation / Cup and Saucer © Richard Diebenkorn © 1965

Richard Diebenkorn Dates and Signatures

When verifying the authenticity of a Diebenkorn print, the creation date holds significance as it aligns with Diebenkorn’s specific production period. Additionally, Diebenkorn collaborated with a select group of publishers, so the provenance of the work typically traces back to one of his publishers: Crown Press, Tamarind Institute, or Arion Press. All Diebenkorn prints are signed and dated, typically in the lower right-hand corner with his initials, ‘RD,’ followed by the creation date. The works are also numbered, usually in the lower left corner, and bear the stamps of the publisher and printer in the lower right corner.
Diebenkorn boasts an extensive exhibition history, showcasing his works at various esteemed institutions across the United States, primarily on the West Coast, from Washington to Montana and various locations in San Francisco. Prints with an exhibition history tied to renowned institutions not only validate their authenticity but also enhance the value of Diebenkorn’s prints.

Browse Richard Diebenkorn prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about the print market growth on the MAB100 Print Index.

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#29 from 41 Etchings Drypoints by Richard Diebenkorn Image © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation / #29 from 41 Etchings Drypoints © Richard Diebenkorn 1965

Has Your Richard Diebenkorn Print Been Kept In Good Condition?

The condition of a print is crucial and can significantly impact its value when you're looking to sell. Naturally, older prints may show more signs of wear and tear over time. Diebenkorn began producing prints in the 1960s, continuing until the 1990s, so most prints on the market should be in good condition if properly cared for. When assessing a print, it's essential to check for tears, stains, or discolouration, and ensure that the back hasn't been damaged due to mounting. Proper framing with UV-resistant glass is vital to protect the print from sun damage. Additionally, using appropriate matting and mounting techniques prevents direct contact with the glass, minimising moisture buildup and potential damage.

Storage conditions are equally critical. Prints should be stored in a controlled environment away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and high humidity. Ideally, they should be kept flat in acid-free folders or portfolios to shield them from light, dust, and moisture.

Even prints in poorer condition still have a market, offering more affordable options for collectors on a budget. However, if you're seeking the highest value when selling, maintaining good condition is key. Any appraiser or broker will emphasise the importance of the print's condition in determining its value.


Blue by Richard Diebenkorn Image © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation / Blue © Richard Diebenkorn 1984

When Is the Best Time to Sell My Richard Diebenkorn Print?

Although Diebenkorn's influence is expanding in the United Kingdom, his artistic origins are deeply rooted in the United States, particularly in California. His California-inspired paintings reflect a profound connection to the region's light and space, showcasing a palpable sensitivity to his surroundings. Widely regarded as one of America's foremost Post War masters, Diebenkorn's artworks are prominently featured in nearly every major collection across the United States. While his market in the UK is on the rise, his established presence in the US market remains significant and should be a key factor to consider when deciding to sell your artwork.

Determining the optimal time to sell your artwork hinges largely on market dynamics, such as recent record-setting auction prices or the artist's current level of recognition and popularity within the art world. For instance, Diebenkorn's auction record was shattered at Christie's in November 2023, with his piece Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad (1965). Additionally, several paintings spanning various periods of Diebenkorn’s career were featured in the May 2024 New York sales, although Ocean Park #12 (1968) remained unsold. However, this outcome doesn't necessarily indicate a weak market or low demand; rather, it reflects the natural fluctuations of market dynamics. In 2024, the LA Louver in Venice, California, renowned for its exhibitions spotlighting artists with a West Coast aesthetic, such as Contemporary master David Hockney, featured Richard Diebenkorn Works on Paper from March to May. Concurrently, Untitled (1976), a unique watercolour drawing representing Diebenkorn’s abstract period, exceeded expectations at Sotheby’s New York day auction, selling above the low estimate for £282,562, including fees.

Deciphering market trends can be challenging, especially for those new to the art scene. Collaborating with a reputable broker or dealer is recommended. They can provide insights into the fair market value of your print and maximise your selling potential.


Where Can I Sell My Richard Diebenkorn print?

When considering selling a Diebenkorn print, it's crucial to explore various avenues. However, thorough research is essential as each avenue comes with its own set of fees and caters to different networks and client bases. Whether you choose an auction house, broker, or online marketplace, there are multiple options to consider. Opting for a platform well-versed in the art market and the Diebenkorn print market is likely to yield the most favourable outcome for your print.

Selling a Richard Diebenkorn via Auction House

The major auction houses—Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips—hold esteemed positions in the art market. As a seller, opting for auction houses can be advantageous as they provide a theatrical setting, have the capability to drive up reserve prices above estimates, and possess the resources to effectively market artworks to potential buyers. However, it's important to note the seller's fees, which can be as high as 25% and are deducted from the final sale proceeds. Additionally, auction house sales operate on tight schedules and typically feature only one or two editions of the same print in a single auction, potentially leading to a backlog of works and lengthy waiting periods for your print to be included in a sale, during which time the market value may fluctuate.

To learn more about selling avenues read our guide Auction v Private Sale in the Art Market

Selling a Richard Diebenkorn via a Broker

Opting to sell through a broker is also a feasible choice. Collaborating with a broker provides a more tailored approach compared to an auction house, allowing for deeper engagement and dialogue with the broker than with an auction sales specialist. Brokers offer guidance and support at every step of the selling journey, leveraging their extensive experience in navigating art market dynamics. They typically boast a well-established network of buyers and sellers, facilitating connections between your print and potential buyers.

Selling a Richard Diebenkorn via Online Marketplace:

Online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy offer a platform for directly selling artwork to buyers, providing independent convenience. However, selling through these platforms requires meticulous attention to listing descriptions, pricing, condition checks and shipping logistics. It's important to note that selling on eBay and Etsy carries a higher risk of encountering forgeries and scams since these platforms lack the rigorous verification processes and expertise found in specialised art marketplaces or auctions. Therefore, when determining the best time to sell your print, it's advisable to steer clear of marketplaces lacking verified art market pedigree to ensure a smooth transaction process. Additionally, selling on these platforms entails independently managing the sale process and handling potential buyer negotiations.





Why Sell Your Richard Diebenkorn With MyArtBroker?

A DEDICATED BROKER

MyArtBroker provides a unique service by connecting clients with dedicated personal brokers, ensuring secure transactions through our online platform. Our specialists excel at finding direct buyers for consigned prints via our live trading floor. Users within our network can express interest in specific prints and multiples by artists, whether they're looking to sell or buy. Our team is approachable, passionate, and provides regular updates on the art market and artists. We guide sellers through a seamless transaction process, offering fair market valuations and free advice on timing, leveraging our extensive market knowledge.

Meet our team of specialist brokers.

MINIMISE RISK

With reported emphasis placed on furthering transparency within the art market, MyArtBroker places a premium on this aspect and security throughout every art transaction. Our rigorous due diligence process guarantees the authentication and verification of artwork provenance, leveraging our in-house expertise and collaborating with external professionals as necessary. This method significantly reduces the risk of dealing with counterfeit or stolen art. Moreover, we mitigate the risks associated with public auctions. While public sales may appear attractive, unsold prints can negatively impact an artist's market. Private sales eliminate this risk and offer faster liquidity for your artwork compared to adhering to rigid auction schedules dictating when your work can be sold.

0% SELLER’S FEES, 100% OF THE TIME

Our team of specialists offers tailored services to procure rare and special edition prints, catering to both seasoned collectors and newcomers to the market. As part of our standard practice, we provide complimentary valuations and charge zero seller's fees, setting us apart from other private brokers and traditional auction houses. By minimising overhead costs, we allocate resources towards digital innovation and targeted marketing strategies within our network and house magazine.

When it comes to selling artwork, achieving the best price hinges on accessing a niche market with an established collector community. If you're looking to sell a print, turning to a specialist in the print market, like MyArtBroker, yields superior results compared to approaching an auction house, which caters to broader categories of artwork.

OUR NETWORK

Within the digital era, online marketplaces are becoming increasingly attractive options for buying and selling art, not only for the convenience, but also because it allows you to feel part of a community. Utilising our live trading floor, we empower our collector network, revolutionising art investment and trading in the digital age. Providing instantaneous market data and insights from global collectors, we determine value with a focus on convenience, accessibility, and unparalleled transparency and security for our vast user base, which spans tens of thousands.

Explore our Art+Tech Report to discover everything we've built.

Richard Diebenkorn Collection Management With MyPortfolio

Beyond our live trading floor, MyArtBroker's MyPortfolio acts as a collection management tool, enabling collectors to curate and monitor their print collections while tracking their value in real-time. This feature provides access to our print market database, intricately linked to our proprietary algorithm, SingularityX. This algorithm meticulously evaluates public auction and private sales data to ascertain real-time valuations of individual prints, considering factors like condition, colour, and other elements influencing value.

Read What Powers MyArtBroker's Technology? In Conversation With Stuart Jameison, Financial Quant to learn more about our algorithm.

In today's ever-evolving digital art market, emerging art tech tools play a crucial role. For example, integrating Diebenkorn prints into the MyPortfolio dashboard on our website offers users invaluable insights into unique sales opportunities and real-time market performance, streamlining the sales process effortlessly. Our innovative technology has transformed art portfolio management, enhancing accessibility and providing users with data-driven insights for informed decision-making.