1953, Oil on Canvas
American painter Richard Diebenkorn developed his own Abstract Expressionist style in the 1940s and also proved himself a leading figurative and still life artist in the 1950s. However, it is with works such as Urbana #4, in which he depicts the physical environment as simultaneously abstract and representational that he generated the objects for which he is best known and most renowned. Inspired by flights across the U.S. from New Mexico to Illinois to California, Diebenkorn noted that the aerial view of the grids and circles of both natural and man-made landscapes spurred his dedicated return to abstraction. Even at their most abstract, the Urbana and Ocean Park series are highly rooted in observation of the world, at once street level and bird’s eye and both objective and expressive. Would you consider Urbana #4 a landscape? A still life? Both? Why?
Richard Diebenkorn excelled at capturing the feeling of a place. Tap the video button above to learn more.