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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Diebenkorn at the de Young Museum, SF

It doesn't seem that long since we were in California, but we have been home a week now. I feel fortunate to have in-laws that live relatively close to San Francisco and who will put us up or is it put up with us? Either way, seeing Richard Diebenkorn's work in person was a real treat. I had only seen images online and in books. Most of my favorite paintings from the book I have were a part of this exhibit. This studio sink has always been one I am drawn to. Next to it in the exhibit was one called just "Sink" that was ink and charcoal on watercolor paper. I cannot find the image online for it, but I thought it a stunning piece. Just three simple values, and it was breathtaking.
Then his little black and white studies are masterly. Just a simple pair of scissors. There were a few examples of where he took the same still life set up and painted it from different angles making a totally different composition. Using just common items, unrelated, and yet uniting them. ie wooden matches, an acorn, a spoon, a pair of closed scissors and a bottle of what looks like liquin. I could not find the images to show this set up but this was just one example of that theme.
 I have always loved this figurative piece, Sleeping Woman, and seeing it in person did nothing to diminish that.

I also discovered another figurative piece that I just loved called Seated Woman; such a simple composition yet very dynamic.
I was glad to see that the Wednesday that we went to see this show the galleries were full. Not too crowded to be uncomfortable, but well attended for mid-morning, mid-week. I was glad that it was not a timed exhibit although it was more than just the cost of the normal museum entrance fee. It showed a good range of his Berkley years, as it is called. The book from the exhibit has substantially more works in it then was in the exhibit, but anymore pieces and it would have been overwhelming.

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