ABC Gallery, Dali, Salvador, Salvador Dali, World's, Painters, Great Artist, Largest, Online, Fine, Velázquez, Art, Gallery, artchive, abc gallery, gallery abc, black goya painting, beautiful pictures, cezanne, caravaggio, Images, fine art tattoos, fine art tattoo, added, picaso,goya paintings, rose period, blue period, early works, daily, 畢加索 , piccasso, picaso, from, Picasso, to, Pissaro, and, Bernini, to, Bellini, Over, 14,000, images, of, oil, paintings, from, Abstract Expressionists African Art ALTDORFER American Art Ancient Art ARDON ARP Art Nouveau AVERY BACON BAILEY BALLA BALTHUS Baroque BASQUIAT Bauhaus BAUMEISTER BAZILLE BEARDSLEY BECKMANN BELLINI BELLOTTO BELLOWS BERNINI BEUYS BIERSTADT BINGHAM BLAKE BLUEMNER BOCCIONI BÖCKLIN BOHROD BONNARD BOSCH BOTERO BOTTICELLI BOUDIN BOUGUEREAU BRANCUSI BRAQUE BRONZINO BROWN BRUCE BRUEGEL BURCHFIELD BURNE-JONES CAILLEBOTTE CAMPIN CANALETTO CARAVAGGIO CARR CARRACCI CASSATT Cave Paintings CÉZANNE CHAGALL CHARDIN CHIHULY Chinese Art CHURCH CIMABUE CLEMENTE COLE CONSTABLE Contemporary COPLEY CORINTH CORNELL COROT CORREGGIO COURBET CRANACH CRIVELLI Cubism Dada DALÍ DAUBIGNY DAUMIER DAVID, G DAVID, J- L DE CHIRICO DE HOOCH DE KOONING DE LA TOUR DEGAS DELACROIX DELAUNAY DEMUTH DERAIN DIEBENKORN DONATELLO DONGEN DOVE DUBUFFET DUCHAMP DUFY DURAND DÜRER EAKINS Egyptian Art EL GRECO ERNST ESCHER Expressionism FISCHL FRA ANGELICO FRA CARNEVALE FRAGONARD FRANKENTHALER FREUD FRIEDRICH FUSELI Futurism GAINSBOROUGH GAUDI GAUGUIN GENTILESCHI GERICAULT GHIBERTI GHIRLANDAIO GIACOMETTI GIORGIONE GIOTTO GLACKENS GOES GOODMAN GOYA GRAY Greek Art GRIS Group of Seven GRÜNEWALD GUSTON HALS HARING HARNETT HARTLEY HASSAM HAUSMANN HEADE HENRI HEPWORTH HESSE HIROSHIGE HIRST HOCKNEY HODGKIN HOGARTH HOKUSAI HOLBEIN HOMER HOPPER Hudson River School HUNDERTWASSER HUNT IMMENDORFF Impressionism INGRES INNESS JOHNS JORDAENS KAHLO KANDINSKY KENSETT KIEFER KIENHOLZ KIRCHNER KITAJ KLEE KLIMT KLINE KOKOSCHKA LAWRENCE LE NAIN LEGER LEONARDO LEVINE LEYSTER LICHTENSTEIN LIOTARD LIPPI LISSITZKY LOTTO LÜPERTZ MACKE MAGRITTE MALEVICH MAN RAY MANET MANTEGNA MARC MARSH MARTINI MASACCIO MATISSE MEMLING MICHELANGELO MILLAIS MILLET MIRO MITCHELL MODIGLIANI MONDRIAN MONET MOORE MORAN MORANDI MOREAU MORISOT MUCHA MUNCH MURILLO MURRAY Neo-Classical NEEL NOLDE O'KEEFFE PARMIGIANINO PEARLSTEIN PETO Photographers PICASSO PIERO della FRANCESCA PIERO di COSIMO PIRANESI PISSARRO POLKE POLLOCK Pop Art PORTER POSADA Post-Impressionism POUSSIN Pre-Raphaelites PRENDERGAST PUVIS RAPHAEL RAUSCHENBERG REDON REMBRANDT REMINGTON Renaissance Art RENOIR RICHTER RIVERA ROCKWELL Rococo RODIN Roman Art Romanticism ROSSETTI ROTHKO ROUAULT H. ROUSSEAU T. ROUSSEAU ROUSSEL RUBENS RUISDAEL RYDER SARGENT SCHIELE SCHWITTERS Sculptors SEURAT SHEELER SIGNAC SIGNORELLI SISLEY SLOAN SOHLBERG SOROLLA Spanish Art SPILLIAERT DE STAEL Surrealism SWEERTS Symbolism TAMAYO TANNER TANSEY THIEBAUD TIEPOLO TINTORETTO TISSOT TITIAN TOULOUSE-LAUTREC TREVIÑO TURNER TWOMBLY UCCELLO VAN DYCK VAN EYCK VAN GOGH VELÁZQUEZ VERMEER VERONESE WARHOL WATTEAU WEST WEYDEN WHISTLER Women Artists WYETH ZURBARAN Velazquez

DIEBENKORN

Richard Diebenkorn
(1922-1993)

"IN 1967, THE AMERICAN PAINTER Richard Diebenkorn turned away from his widely admired figural style fluid, awkward, loosely evocative ofBonnard but less florid and more athletic-to return, to be sure with some marked differences, to the abstractionist imperatives he had just as abruptly put aside a dozen years before. His career thus falls naturally into three phases-or two phases of abstraction with a prolonged figurationist interlude-but this bland periodization fails to do justice to the unfolding narrative of his artistic discoveries. His figures were after all but regimentations of the same urgent and sweeping gestures that were the mark of his driving first abstractionist manner, and were set into pictorial spaces that did not exist in painting before Abstract Expressionismreinvented space. And the post-1967 abstractions have seemed to many sufficiently referential so that it is a critical commonplace to see them as suffused with a special California light, and as dense with coastal allusions to sky, ocean, seaside and sun, tawny hills, bleached architecture, sharp shadows and angular illuminations, green expanses and glimpsed distant blues, and possibly haunted by the erasure of human presences. Nor does the chronicle "abstraction-figuration-abstraction" adequately acknowledge the extreme determination, the aesthetic courage it had to have required first to shift from abstraction to "the image" at a time when such a change was perceived within the art world as something momentous, like a conversion or a betrayal or a heretical declaration, and then, at a time when one's great reputation was based upon the marvelous posing of figures in landscapes or interiors that looked like abstractions anyway, when pure abstraction was no longer the True Faith but only one of the ways to do things in an art world gone slack and pluralistic, to return to abstraction as one's own truth. Both changes are evidence of a certain dogged integrity, and were perhaps among the benefits of growing a career in California, away from the style wars and the critical fire storms of New York, with its fevered obsessions with where one fits, with who is in and which is out and what is new, fading, dated and dead.

"In a sense, nothing has been new with Diebenkorn since 1967, when he exhibited the first paintings in what was to lengthen into an extraordinary series. These are the Ocean Park paintings-large canvases, each bearing the same title, Ocean Park, but individuated with a number that indicates, presumably, the order of its completion. The series had reached number 140 by late last year, which allows a rough calculation of Diebenkorn's annual output, though he has concurrently produced a number of works-on-paper, titled Untitled but recognizably answering to the same impulses that give rise to the Ocean Park paintings. Ocean Park itself is a community near Santa Monica, where Diebenkorn traces a daily path between home and studio, but whether or not these works make the topical references to local landscape with which they are credited, they clearly are something more than abstractions with recurrent compositional motifs, cadences, pastel tonalities, scumbled fields and tapelike forms, and stunning juxtapositions of color swept on with masterful brushwork. Each of them, for example, displays the submerged record of its own realization, and so distinctive are the pentimenti in Diebenkom's art that each painting carries within itself the visible history of the artist's search. The nearest parallel, perhaps, would be the great drawings of Rembrandt, in which certain crowded lines converge on the sought-after contour so that the drawing and its draw-ing are one, process and fulfillment inseparable. It is possible to imagine a writer, misguided by the recent privileging of l'ecriture who publishes a work that exhibits the labor of writing it, with all the first lines, the crossed-out sentences, whited-out lines with fragments of letters showing through and scribbled insertions between the lines and up the margins. Whatever such a text started out to be about, it would in the end have to be about its own processes, self-exemplificatory. In my view, Diebenkom's paintings are less about the bright skies and long horizons of Ocean Park than about the act of painting, as if the works had become more and more their own subjects and the external references stand at best as indications of what the painting is not about- Ceci nest pas un paysage! In this sense, and despite his notorious employment of mechanical straightedges, Diebenkorn has not moved greatly beyond the premises of Abstract Expressionism, which always insisted that the painting was the paint-ing, its final subject and only reference. On the other hand, nothing could more vividly illuminate the difference between painting and writing as arts than the extreme power and beauty, the elegance and excitement of the Ocean Park paintings, and the tiresomeness of the piece of writing I just imagined, with which no one, unless perhaps a member of Yale's Department of English, could have the slightest patience.

"It is instructive to compare Diebenkorn as an artist with his somewhat older fellow Californian (and Stanford alumnus) Robert Motherwell, who has also produced an extraordinary series: the most recent Spanish Elegy I have seen is number 132, completed in 1983. "Diebenkorn," Motherwell recently told me, "is what I would have become if I had had his talent but remained in California instead of moving to New York." The Spanish Elegies and the Ocean Park paintings are at the pinnacle of contemporary painting, but the differences in their inspiration and spiritual provenance are profound. Motherwell wrote about the Spanish Elegies that they are "for the most part, public statements. [They] reflect the internationalist in me, interested in the historical forces of the twentieth century, with strong feelings about the conflicting forces in it." By contrast, Motherwell says of his collages that they are "intimate and private." Now, I do not believe, of any of Diebenkorn's works, that the category of privacy or intimacy especially applies. They are as public as scientific experiments, open investigations into the resolution of pictorial tensions or conquests of painterly difficulties. But neither are they "public statements" which could be construed as dealing with any issues other than the issues of painting. It was as if even the somewhat blank figures of Diebenkorn's middle period were ill at ease in their paintings, and distractions from Diebenkorn's deepest preoccupations. "Spain" denotes a land of suffering and poetic violence and political agony, and "Elegy" carries the literary weight of tragedy and disciplined lamentation. It would be inconsistent for works so titled to reflect back merely upon their own processes, and in truth one cannot see Spanish Elegy 132 without feeling oneself in the presence of some human revelation as deep as painting allows.

"As a term, "Ocean Park" belongs to the hopeful vocabulary of the real estate developer, and designates an archetypal suburban locus in Southern California-Ocean Park. No. 133 could be an address. But in any case Ocean Park is but the site, perhaps distantly the occasion for a work that makes and needs no references. And the miracle is that works so circumscribed in subject, substance, meaning and feeling should be so overwhelming when viewed as altogether to obliterate their circumstances and limits. The miracle is that the country mouse/ city mouse difference between these two masters should finally count for so little in terms of their comparable achievements. There is finally a fierce beauty in Diebenkom's work that marks a limit in our critical competence to explain it.

"Aside from the two decisions that articulate his corpus, Diebenkorn's life is really more a career than a biography, like that of a successful academic. It is an exemplary life, but not an outwardly interesting one: the story of schools attended, positions held, group shows, traveling retrospectives, prizes won and a growing, finally a global recognition. It is an exemplary life because of its absolute commitment, as if the decisions to remain in California and to stay within a single and evidently deeply fulfilling marriage were so many ways of keeping distraction at bay. In this sense, I suppose, the life and the work are of a piece, for the art, too, is a systematic and sustained effort to expunge from itself whatever is other than itself. Even the numerated laconic titles bear out what we might think of, in Sartrian terms, as the original choice that defined the project. The work is tentative and confident at once, as if the doubts which the individual works preserve and display were required in order that they should be overcome in the dazzling works to which they lead. There is a marvelous moment in a recent profile of Diebenkorn by Dan Hofstadter in The New Yorker which brings out both sides. Diebenkorn was expressing to an intimate his doubts about being up to the task of painting. The intimate said, "O.K., Dick. How many people in the world do you think paint as well as you do?" Hofstadter tells us that Diebenkorn thought for a long time, and then he just laughed. Unremitting doubt as to one's adequacy to the task one knows no one is better suited for than oneself: those are the coordinates of his personality and in an odd way the content of his work."

From "Encounters & Reflections: Art in the Historical Present", by Arthur Danto


 DIEBENKORN_OCEAN_PARK_54

Diebenkorn, Richard Ocean Park No. 54 1972 Oil on canvas 100 x 81 in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

 DIEBENKORN_OCEAN_PARK_49

Diebenkorn, Richard Ocean Park No. 49 1972 Oil on canvas 93 x 81 in Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

 DIEBENKORN_OCEAN_PARK_115

Diebenkorn, Richard Ocean Park No. 115 1979 Oil on canvas 100 x 81 in The Museum of Modern Art, New York

 DIEBENKORN_OCEAN_PARK_114

Diebenkorn, Richard Ocean Park No. 114 1979 Oil on canvas 81 x 81 in Mr and Mrs Robert McClain Collection, Newport Beach, California

 DIEBENKORN_CITYSCAPE_I

Diebenkorn, Richard Cityscape I (Landscape No. 1) 1963 Oil on canvas 60 1/4 x 50 1/2 in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art