Richard Diebenkorn

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Richard Diebenkorn
41 Etchings Drypoints.
Oakland : Crown Point Press, 1965
Gift of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

Executed just before his famed Ocean Park series, 41 Etchings Drypoints (1963-65) represents a critical but often overlooked aspect of Richard Diebenkorn's body of work. The first artist to publish an edition with the historic Crown Point Press, Diebenkorn demonstrates his skill in drypoint and aquatint as well as both hard- and softground etching in this portfolio. Diebenkorn's sense of line --tactile and at times imbued with a consciously cultivated stiffness --finds its natural ally in drypoint, where scratching and needling the plate yields velvety results. Revision and reworking, and the traces those leave, are another key aspect of Diebenkorn's practice both in painting and on paper. In this portfolio, Diebenkorn achieves this effect through selective burnishing, or scraping out, of the incised lines. This period in Diebenkorn's career is marked by the evocation of shallow space and recalls Matisse, for whom the artist had great admiration. This sense of flat space permeates 41 Etchings Drypoints, demonstrating the confluence of figuration and geometry that characterizes Diebenkorn's oeuvre as a whole. These figure studies, still lives, and landscapes are at once intimate compositions and deft experiments with line and plane.

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