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.