Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #6, 1967 (collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Tyler Green talks to curator Sarah Bancroft and conservator Ana Alba about the exhibition Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series, on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. from June 30 - September 23, 2012.
Bancroft notes that the Corcoran exhibit includes both Ocean Park #6 and Ocean Park #11, the "earliest paintings in the series, the first five were destroyed or put away…[by the artist]... they're both much more biomorphic and organic… they have a stronger relationship to his figurative work."
Bancroft also discusses an interesting commission Diebenkorn completed: documenting water reclammation projects in Arizona. She notes that "[Diebenkorn] often commented about the idea of process in the land, and seeing this history of what had happened, whether it be tilling or scarring or working the land, and he wanted to get that idea into his work… the history of the making of the painting is the painting. It's that idea of topography, of process… rather than obliterating the history of his compositional expression over time, allowing you to really see it…"
Matthew Ballou looks at Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park paintings through the lens of "provisional painting."
Ballou writes that "To get a clear view of Diebenkorn's connection with provisionality one must think about the sense of compositional balance exemplified in the Ocean Park Series. It is a balance that is hard-won yet still teetering on the edge of disarray. Though the works are in some ways locked, they flicker and undulate; these are compositions that don’t always feel as if rightness was absolutely achieved."
Knight writes: "The narrative in these paintings is a story of their making... One result is an intensified sense of the here and now, a moment that seems right and sure and achingly ephemeral, poised to slip away. Diebenkorn's Ocean Park paintings are all about the pentimenti -- the earlier images, forms and strokes that have been changed and painted over. The surface opens to expose what lies beneath it, and the past becomes present."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.