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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Notes to self: Richard Diebenkorn

When I wrote my last post, which was on going to the Richard Diebenkorn exhibit at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco, I forgot what was posted as you first walked into the show. And that was his notes to himself. They had gotten lost in the depths of my purse and just resurfaced yesterday. Here they are:

Notes to myself on beginning a painting:
1. Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable
2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued-except as a
stimulus for further moves.
3. Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.
4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.
5. Don’t “discover” a subject – of any kind.
6. Somehow don’t be bored – but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.
7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.
8. Keep thinking about Pollyanna.
9. Tolerate chaos.
10. Be careful only in a perverse way.
Sink, Richard Diebenkorn
To break up the quotes, I scanned this photo from the book on the Berkley Years exhibit. "the sink" that both my husband and I thought marvelous and which I referenced in that last post as not being available online. You all may think us crazy, as after all, it is not even a particularly "pretty" sink, and definitely not fashionable. Probably especially so in 1966 when this was done, but none-the-less, it showed very well in the museum. Three value groups, clearly defined, and what is hard to see here, as in most reproductions the nuances are lost, there is a highlight on the wall to the right. I bought the darn book just to get this. To remind me, Keep it simple sweetheart!

Then there were the quotes on the walls, which I also neglected to share with you and which I thought worthy of writing down at the time. You know the ones, the big letters written on the walls above the displayed paintings. These are not all of them, just some of them. I found these scribbled in a forgotten pocket from our trip.

"Abstract means literally to draw from or separate. In this sense every artist is abstract...a realistic or non-objective approach makes no difference. The result is what counts."

"All paintings start out of a mood, out of a relationship with things or people, out of a complete visual impression."

"I begin to feel that what I was really up to in painting, what I enjoyed almost exclusively, was altering, changing what was before me - by way of subtracting or juxtaposition or superimposition of different ideas."

Most of these I relate to in some way, and if not directly, I hope to at some point.

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