Monday, October 20, 2008

A local favorite

Richard Diebenkorn was one of those artists, all too rare, who simply was not capable of making a mistake. His paintings and drawings are full of smudges, paint-overs, and changes; his process of trial and error is always on full display but inevitably, the more he did the better it always got. Diebenkorn died in Berkeley in 1993. He was well known in California but less so with the rest of the country until a major retrospective in the late 90's raised his profile, including a very well-received showing at the Whitney Museum in New York. I saw a small show of his works this weekend at his alma mater Stanford University and, as always, was knocked out by everything I saw, even the tossed-off birthday card sketches he made for his son. The works on display belong to his lifelong friend Cary Stanton (they met as fellow Stanford freshmen), and reflect a lot of lovely, personal moments on Santa Cruz Island off the coast near Santa Barbara, a place which is or was largely owned by the Stanton family. Diebenkorn was as at home with abstraction as figuration, with black and white value as with rich color, and with watercolor, pencil, charcoal, ink, and oils.


Anonymous said...

I too was able to see this wonderful small show at Stanford and it was wonderful. Marilyn provides a terrific introduction here to the artist. Thanks!

Cathy Curtis said...

Hi Marilyn, I saw the show at the Whitney, amazing! I love this artist.