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Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)
The Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch
Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)

Untitled

Details
Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)
Untitled
signed with the artist's initials and dated 'RD 80' (lower right)
gouache on paper
38 x 25 in. (96.5 x 63.5 cm.)
Painted in 1980.
Provenance
M. Knoedler & Co., New York
Acquired from the above by the late owners, 1980
Literature
R. Newlin, Richard Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, Houston, 1987, p. 157 (illustrated).
J. Livingston and A. Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, Volume Four: Catalogue Entries 3762-5197, New Haven and London, 2016, p. 291, no. 4409 (illustrated).
Exhibited
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Richard Diebenkorn: Recent Work, November-December 1980, p. 2 (illustrated).

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Rachael White
Rachael White

Lot Essay

Completed towards the end of Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park years, the influence of the colors and contours of the land and ocean of the region is strong in Untitled from 1980. The composition is traversed by dark lines set against a heavily-worked paper support, the lines suggestive of scaffold-like patterns. Horizontal, vertical, diagonal and curving bands play across the surface, some running parallel to the paper support’s upper or vertical boundaries, some traversing diagonally across and through the paper surface, while others divide or intersect with adjacent horizontal or vertical markings. These linear tracings possess a powerful and energetic hand-drawn quality, characteristic of the artist’s process. Although the work is intimately scaled, it is suggestive of vaster spaces.
Untitled was created during the third and final phase of Diebenkorn’s artistic career, a mature period which saw the artist make a decisive return to the abstract style, as drawing figured prominently in his total production during this phase. Drawing was a way for Diebenkorn to introduce improvisation and spontaneity into his practice. He was an artist very much interested in showing process, that is the trial and error of the creative process. “Unlike canvas, the use of paper permitted [him] to expand and differentiate the very support itself…to admit elasticity, spontaneity, improvisation and discovery into his work; and to build up the surface in order to emphasize the drawing of a fabricated object.” (R. Newlin, Richard Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, Houston, Texas, 1987. p. 11).

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