Richard Diebenkorn is one of my absolute favorite artists. His large scale canvases are flooded with bold colors that combine to form a uniquely beautiful whole. Seeming to glisten with light, his paintings often hover between the realms of complete abstraction and mildly figurative compositions. Yet all of Diebenkorn’s colorful canvases are tied together by the same energetically-charged quality of raw emotion that continuously plays out alongside an ever-present in-depth exploration of color and light.
A true Bay Area icon, Diebenkorn painted his most significant works in California (in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles), spending a majority of his life in the Bay Area with brief stints in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Urbana, Illinois. Born in Portland, Oregon, he grew up in San Francisco, studied at Stanford and UC Berkeley and later on lived in Saulsalito and taught at what became the San Francisco Art Institute, eventually settling in Berkeley.
For the next couple weeks, you can catch Richard Diebenkorn’s Bay Area-inspired canvases in person at the De Young museum in Golden Gate Park. The exhibit “The Berkeley Years 1953-1966” features around 130 paintings and drawings that include many of the artist’s best known works and showcase his artistic evolution. It is currently on view here in San Francisco until September 29, 2013.