Diebenkorn Press

Media Contact:
Kate Eilertsen
Executive Director
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
The Intimate Diebenkorn:
Works on Paper 1949-1992
June 6 – August 23, 2015
Members’ Reception - June 6, 6-8
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2015    
SONOMA, CA - Internationally-acclaimed California artist Richard Diebenkorn will be presented in an exhibition of collages, watercolors and gouaches on paper at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. They present a richly intimate glimpse into the artist’s evolution spanning more than 40 years. The twelve-week exhibition features over 50 exemplary works.
“Richard Diebenkorn was an artist of quiet generosity and enormous creative energy, both visible at every level of his work. As drawings are usually where an artist tests ideas, they are often the most revealing, immediate, and exploratory, and the least improved. But while Diebenkorn’s drawings and watercolors embody those characteristics, these sometimes tiny works on paper are the works of a modern master who made a new world for us to enter. His alchemy of color and proportion strikes harmonic chords that ring and ring,” said Chester Arnold.
The exhibition, sponsored by the Berkeley-based Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, was selected by renowned artist and Sonoma resident, Chester Arnold in collaboration with the Diebenkorn Foundation and was exhibited in a smaller form at the College of Marin in 2013. It has traveled to the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery at San Jose State University and the Katzen Arts Center at American University, Washington, D.C. With its return to California for the Sonoma installation, the show will be seen for the first time in an expanded form, with an additional twelve works.
“We are very grateful to the Diebenkorn Foundation for making this exhibition possible. It is a rare peek into the artistic process for one America’s most beloved artists,” said Kate Eilertsen, Executive Director for the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.
Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) is most widely known for his large-scale, vivid abstractions. His early work is associated with Abstract Expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. His later works, the Ocean Park series, were instrumental to his achievement of worldwide acclaim. He taught from 1947-48 at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, where he met David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko. He moved to Los Angeles in 1966 to teach at UCLA where the change of landscape led to a dramatic change in his work. In a series of more than 140 paintings entitled Ocean Park, Diebenkorn gave priority to formal concerns in his majestic abstract compositions.
The Intimate Diebenkorn presents works from Diebenkorn’s early career in the late 1940s to his final years in Healdsburg in the early 1990s where he returned to the smaller format while in declining health. The exhibition includes both early and late abstractions and representational works depicting landscapes and figures. After being seen at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, the exhibition will travel to the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the University of Montana in Missoula Montana.
About the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art:
Established in 1998, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a membership supported 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides seasonal exhibitions of contemporary and modern art and educational and public programming for children, youth and adults. Its mission is to be, “a magnet of creative energy and cultural inspiration with exhibitions and educational programs that engage the community in the art and ideas of our time, encouraging curiosity and innovation.”
The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is located at 551 Broadway, one half block up from Sonoma’s historic Plaza. Regular Museum hours are 11am–5pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults. Children k–12 are admitted free, as are SVMA members. Additional information is available at www.svma.org or by calling (707) 939-7862.
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