Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966

Overview

In the 1950s American painter Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) took a dramatic turn away from his early work, exploring new vocabularies of both abstract and representational styles, which would come to be known as the artist’s “Berkeley period.” This era has long been recognized as one of the most interesting chapters in postwar American art, yielding many of Diebenkorn’s best-known works.

Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966 examines Diebenkorn’s process and output ...

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Overview

In the 1950s American painter Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) took a dramatic turn away from his early work, exploring new vocabularies of both abstract and representational styles, which would come to be known as the artist’s “Berkeley period.” This era has long been recognized as one of the most interesting chapters in postwar American art, yielding many of Diebenkorn’s best-known works.

Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966 examines Diebenkorn’s process and output during this decisive period. Three original essays explore the artist’s evolving conceptions of abstraction and representation, emphasizing the interrelationships between the abstract paintings and drawings and related landscapes, figurative works, and still lifes, as well as Diebenkorn’s ongoing interest in aerial views.

Featuring several significant works that have rarely been on view, as well as previously unpublished photographs from the Diebenkorn archives, this important publication is the first comprehensive look at this critical period.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This sumptuous book presents the work of American painter Diebenkorn (1922–1993) in a period of explosive growth. Each editor contributes an essay to provide context, breaking down Diebenkorn’s work into roughly five categories. The grand achievement of the book is the way that the works hang together and evoke a sense of place. In one mode, he paints colorful exteriors of empty houses that summon feelings of loneliness as powerful as similar paintings by Hopper. In another, he renders exquisitely quiet domestic interiors as gorgeous as any by Matisse. In a third, he paints striking maps and landscapes that evoke both serenity and loss. His abstract paintings are just as ambitious, and fit seamlessly with his other work. And finally, his sensual nudes speak of comfort and refuge rather than agitation or lust. Diebenkorn has his own undeniable and recognizable style. His use of color to spellbinding effect—a yellow nude, a yellow porch, and a yellow figure—is reproduced vividly here, and his signature geometric compositions, always with imperfect and bold lines, are sumptuous and calming, whether they represent figures, interiors, or landscapes. Diebenkorn richly deserves his place in the 20th-century art-historical canon. (June)
Modern Art Notes - Tyler Green
“If you are interested in 20th-century painting, this book needs to be in your library.”—Tyler Green, Modern Art Notes
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300190786
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 448,406
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Anglin Burgard is Ednah Root Curator-in-Charge of the American Art Department at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Steven A. Nash is executive director of the Palm Springs Art Museum. Emma Acker is assistant curator of American Art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

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