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RICHARD DIEBENKORN (American, 1922-1993)
Untitled, c. 1951
Oil on canvas
17-5/8 x 15-3/8 inches (44.7 x 39.1 cm)
Initialed lower left and signed and inscribed verso

From the artist to Eulalia Emetaz, La Galeria Escondida, Taos, c. 1951
Private Collection (to present owner, by descent, early 1990s)

La Galeria Escondida, Taos, NM, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert McChesney, and Clay Spohn, 1952

Phyllis F. Dorset, "La Galeria Escondida: A Taos Retrospective", Artspace, Fall 1987, p. 48

The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation will include this work in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné as estate number 8615

Condition Report*:

The primary support is white cotton canvas stretched to the original wood strainer with butt jointed corners and attached with metal staples. The painting is flat, plane, and has good surface tension with no distortions. The artist's brush strokes and impasto are visible throughout the surface which allows the ground colors and previous textures to show through as pentimenti and ghosting. This was the artist's obvious technique. The surface is unvarnished and has no sheen other than one shiny area in the upper right quadrant also a result of technique. There are signs of stress to the paint surface in the form of several hairline cracks throughout. There is a section of lifting paint along the thickest area of texture but with minimal paint loss. This does not seem to be damage but a side effect of the surface treatment (scraping, layers, and texture) by the artist. The signature (initials RD) in the lower left is intact and clearly visible. The reverse of the canvas is impregnated with several bright pigments (red, green, yellow, & brown), as if these colors are the underlayment for the more muted colors visible on the surface. The artist's first initial and last name is written on the reverse under an arrow designating the top of the canvas, seemingly both by the artist's hand. Under UV light, the surface proves to be un-varnished and has no visible evidence of inpainting or later alterations. The various colors and visible pentimenti all fluoresce as individual layers which is consistent for painting from this time period. There has been no restoration to the artwork and the canvas appears to be in very good condition. Framed Dimensions 18.75 X 16.25 Inches

Diebenkorn, Richard:Richard Diebenkorn matriculated into Stanford University in 1940 where he was mentored by professors Victor Arnautoff and Daniel Mendelowitz, and with influences from Willem de Kooning, he developed his interpretation of abstract expressionism. After a stint in the Marine Corp during WWII, Diebenkorn went on to teach at the California School of Fine Arts in 1947. He then earned a MFA from the University of New Mexico in 1951, and subsequently taught briefly at the University of Illinois before visiting New York in 1953, a revolutionary moment in his career. As the birth place of abstract expressionism, New York was highly influential to Diebenkorn’s style, and his work was forever changed after the summer of 1953. After his stay in New York, Diebenkorn returned to Berkeley where he converted to object specific figurativism; however, Diebenkorn did not completely abandon his former art form. Diebenkorn fused the figurativism of Henri Matisse with his former experience as an abstract painter in the Bay Area Figurative Movement. However, in 1967 after accepting a teaching position at UCLA, Diebenkorn returned to abstract expressionism, but with distinctive, immense, and rich geometrical forms, which resulted in his famous Ocean Park series that took eighteen years to develop and comprised over 130 paintings. Diebenkorn's work was exhibited widely in New York City. In 1956 it was displayed at the Poindexter Gallery, in 1971 at the Marlborough Gallery, and by 1977 his worked was exhibited almost annually via his partnership with M. Knoedller & Company. In 1976, Diebenkorn's work toured Washington, DC, New York City, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Oakland through a retrospective that was organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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Auction Dates
October, 2012
23rd Tuesday
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