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Inside the Art Studio of Richard Diebenkorn

Painter Richard Diebenkorn in his art studio


Our Studio Sunday artist this week is Richard Diebenkorn. Diebenkorn was an American painter, often associated with the abstract expressionist movement of the mid 20th century. Diebenkorn was born in Oregon and based in California for much of his career, becoming well-known in the 1960s for his large-scale geometric abstract paintings. 


Diebenkorn’s studio looks like a place of contemplation -- the lighting in this image suggests an overcast day outside, and I can almost imagine hearing the sound of rain against the window while the artist would be working on a painting in this space. 


The collection of paint cans on the table in front of the artist look weathered and covered in years worth of dripped and splattered paint -- the mess in Diebenkorn’s studio seems almost contained here, with the wall behind him hosting a fairly pristine-looking large-scale painting. I wonder if the artist spent a great deal of time mixing paints to the correct colour, or if he preferred to apply them directly from the jar to a canvas. I rather like the setup that Diebenkorn had on the back wall, too, where what appears to be a corkboard panel could serve as a space to hang a sketch or study for quick observation while working on the final painting. 


Diebenkorn, who taught art at various California universities throughout his career, was also a friend and influencer to fellow artist Tony Berlant. The artist’s career spanned several decades, though he is perhaps best remembered for the Ocean Park series of paintings, produced from the late 1960s through to the mid 80s. Diebenkorn was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1991, two years before his death.

[image source]

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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