The present work will be included in the forthcoming Richard Diebenkorn catalogue raisonné under number 2001.
In the early 1960s, moving away from an Abstract Expressionist style that the artist felt had lost its emotive power, Richard Diebenkorn turned to figuration in order to represent a certain "strength in reserve-tension beneath calm" that he wanted his work to attain. The present work embodies the key issues that preoccupied the artist during this era. He depicts the usual iconography -a seated female figure -rendered in soft, pastel colors that are applied fairly heavily, in a gestural style that evokes Diebenkorn's earlier, expressionistic style.
What is perhaps most intriguing, however, is Diebenkorn's depiction of the sandy beach backdrop that frames his sitter. Rendered in a delicate wash of warm yellow, Diebenkorn has abstracted the figure's environment to a series of geometric bands of color. Essentially, the figure rests against a three-fold arrangement of horizontal bands of color, each representative of sand, sea and sky. The organization of these colors, and the simultaneous relationships they evoke when grouped together, would ultimately fuel the artist's return to pure abstraction in the 1970s, which obtained its ultimate expression in his highly-celebrated Ocean Park series.