6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
'Reality Digested, Transmuted and Twisted',
This review is from: The Art of Richard Diebenkorn (Paperback)
Ruth E. Fine's title for her essay on Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) aptly describes the career of this phenomenally important and gifted artist. His works are still sought after by those who can still afford his many print editions from Crown Point Press ('Green', an etching from the Ocean Park Series remains one of the most highly valued etchings in this country): his place in art history is secure.
This book is actually a catalogue form the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City exhibition that traveled from 1997 - 1999 across the country. It is in very respect one of the finest books on Diebenkorn, form the color reproductions to the fine and intelligent essays from not only the curator of this exhibition Jane Livingston ('The Art of Richard Diebenkorn'), but also form the above mentioned Ruth E. Fine and especially John Elderfield ('Leaving Ocean Park'). The artist's career is followed chronologically, a particularly fine curatorial choice because of the ways in which Diebenkorn's career mutated. Best known for his abstract expressionist paintings created in his home in the Bay Area of California - especially the Ocean Park Series, paintings that glow with light the way that Rothko's glow with dark. But Diebenkorn, always testing the waters of creativity, turned to representation for a while, creating figurative work that while painted with realism still managed to make even his figures reflect his unusual gift for capturing the qualities of light peculiar to the Bay Area. The canvases range from the very large to the intimately small works of still life, like 'Poppies' that graces the cover.
A special aspect of this book of wonders is the decision to add bits and fragments of Diebenkorn's own writing - at times witty, at times shy, and always informative as to his perception of his work in the art world at large. This is a book to cherish for all art lovers and a monument to the art of catalogue design. Grady Harp, October 10