Academy Art Museum’s Richard Diebenkorn Exhibition by Amelia Steward
Audiences today generally know the career of Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) in three periods: the Sausalito, Albuquerque, Urbana and “early Berkeley” periods of Abstract Expressionism; the Berkeley figurative/representational period; and the famous Ocean Park and Healdsburg series of abstractions. Yet Diebenkorn’s earliest work remains largely unknown. An exhibition, Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955, will be on view at the Academy Art Museum in Easton from April 26 to July 14, 2019 ~ the only venue on the East Coast. The public is invited to attend a reception on Friday, April 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are 100 paintings and drawings from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, offering a full picture of the young artist’s achievements. Certainly, many of the elements
that came to define Diebenkorn’s mature work are present in his earliest paintings and drawings, which evolved rapidly from representational landscape scenes and portraits of military colleagues, to semi-abstract and Surrealist-inspired depictions of topography and the human form, to mature Abstract Expressionist paintings that he made while living in California, New Mexico and Il-
Richard Diebenkorn in the U.S. Marine Corps with two untitled works on paper, Camp Pendleton, 1945 © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.