• Post-War & Contemporary Mornin auction at Christies

    Sale 2220

    Post-War & Contemporary Morning Session

    11 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 110

    Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)

    Untitled (Urbana)

    Price Realised  


    Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)
    Untitled (Urbana)
    signed with initials and dated 'RD 53' (lower right); signed again, inscribed and titled 'URBANA DRAWING RICHARD DIEBENKORN c/o ART DEPT. UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS URBANA, ILL.' (on a paper label affixed to the backing board)
    ink on paper
    12¼ x 18¾ in. (31.1 x 47.6 cm.)
    Painted in 1953.

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    The present work will be included in the forthcoming Richard Diebenkorn Catalogue raisonné under number RD 5921.

    The present lot is a striking example of Richard Diebenkorn's most accomplished works on paper created during his short tenure at the University of Illinois, Urbana between September 1952 and May 1953. Untitled (Urbana) exhibits a rich interplay between opposing forms and linear elements creating a feeling of perpetual tension and recalling the artist's critical work Urbana no. 2 (The Archer). Both works reference nature yet resist a clear interpretation beyond the formal; with a deliberately awkward combination of raw and
    considered brush work these pictures foretell the later Berkeley
    and eventual Ocean Park paintings that slowly distill the raw energy and expression of Untitled (Urbana).

    Untitled (Urbana) was acquired from Diebenkorn in 1953 by his colleague and fellow artist James Lynch, observing that the work had "life." A perceptive observation both simple and profound, in 1953 neither James nor Richard could have predicted the role Diebenkorn would play in the history of American Art.


    Acquired from the artist by the present owner

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the collection of James Lynch