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Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955


Richard-Diebenkorn-Untitled-1945-2_Main.jpg

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955

PORTLAND ART MUSEUM

 Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Horse and Rider), 1954. Oil on canvas, 21 x 24 in. (53.3 x 61 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Horse and Rider), 1954. Oil on canvas, 21 x 24 in. (53.3 x 61 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Jun 16 – Sep 23, 2018

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955

Featuring 100 paintings and drawings from the collection of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 traces the Portland-born artist’s evolution from representational landscape, to Surrealist-inspired work, to his Abstract Expressionist paintings. Best known for his Ocean Park series begun in the second half of the 1960s, Diebenkorn was a prodigiously talented young painter. This exhibition brings together seldom seen works to illustrate the breadth and depth of this preeminent American artist’s early years. Beginnings is the first exhibition to focus solely on the work Diebenkorn made prior to his decisive turn to figuration in the late 1950s. In addition to considering his early thematic and stylistic evolution, the exhibition also examines Diebenkorn’s technical origins in oil, watercolor, gouache, ink, crayon, and collage. The chronological focus demonstrates the environments and individuals that influenced him, beginning with his years as a student and his time in the Marines, through his early professional years in Sausalito, CA, and his academic positions in Albuquerque, NM, and Urbana, IL, before his return to the Bay Area.

A landmark contribution to the study and understanding of Diebenkorn’s work, Beginnings and its companion catalog reveal the forces that shaped the young artist, including works that range from World War II drawings and watercolors of soldiers, to abstractions that unite the forms of Surrealism and the fractured planes of Cubism, to gestural works on paper. The exhibition concludes with one of the artist’s first mature figurative paintings, his 1954 Untitled (Horse and Rider), laying the foundation for the representational drawings and paintings for which Diebenkorn earned wide renown.

Organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum. Curated in Portland by Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

SPONSORS
Nani S. Warren/The Swigert Warren Foundation; Ed Cauduro Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation; Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation; Exhibition Series Sponsors.

The painting process was transparent, which was nothing new; it was in most Abstract Expressionist work. You could usually see all the way to the back – the raw canvas – of a Pollock drip painting, for example. But Diebenkorn added a more complicated awareness to the process, punctuating ragged blocks of layered color with lines and quasi signs, introducing irreverence and, at times, sexual innuendo.
— Roberta Smith, The New York Times
I think what one is about now has intimately to do with what one did yesterday, ten years ago, thirty years ago. Just as you can continue that progression, what somebody else did, forty years earlier, a hundred years earlier, I think that’s what one as an artist probably is.
— Richard Diebenkorn

Events: 

Jun 19 @ 1 PM – 2 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Jun 20 @ 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM — Midday Art Break: Richard Diebenkorn

Jun 24 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Jun 30 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Jul 5 @ 1 PM – 2 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Jul 17 @ 1 PM – 2 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Jul 21 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Aug 2 @ 1 PM – 2 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Aug 12 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Aug 19 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Aug 28 @ 1 PM – 2 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Sep 6 @ 10 AM – 12:30 PM — Baby Morning: Diebenkorn

Sep 8 @ 2 PM – 3 PM — Lecture: Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–55

Sep 8 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Sep 15 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn

Sep 23 @ 3 PM – 4 PM — Public Tour: Diebenkorn