Richard Diebenkorn - Editions & Works on Paper New York Friday, July 24, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Diebenkorn treated printmaking as an extension of his celebrated painting career, often working on these mediums in tandem. Printmaking allowed Diebenkorn to challenge himself and to push the boundaries of his abstractions, inspiring him to convey the flat quality of geometric shapes on a compressed, two-dimensional surface. Beginning with monotype, Diebenkorn later experimented with other techniques such as etching, which he used for Indigo Horizon.

    Indigo Horizon combines two of Diebenkorn’s major interests: color fields and geometric shapes. The Ocean Park series, a collection of 145 paintings created over 20 years, communicates the geometry of his Los Angeles neighborhood of the same name, as seen from his studio. His focus on light, enhanced by the architectural qualities of his windows, created a lyrical work further amplified by the print medium.

  • Artist Biography

    Richard Diebenkorn

    Wholly devoted to painting, Richard Diebenkorn created artworks that often hovered between abstraction and figuration and were committed to exploring the inadequacies of the artform as well as celebrating its triumphs. Diebenkorn pioneered a quintessentially Californian style of abstraction lauded for its lyrical geometry and originally conceived during an epiphanic experience viewing the landscape from an aerial perspective: these paintings are neither fully representational nor abstract, but can be viewed as exploring the interstices between the two concepts and articulating the material experience of life in California. Although these works cemented the artist’s status as one of the premier painters of the postwar era, Diebenkorn oscillated between figuration and abstraction for the entirety of his career, achieving great successes with each new series; he is considered one of the founding members of the Bay Area Figurative Movement and his renowned Ocean Park paintings are considered chief accomplishments of postwar abstraction.

    Diebenkorn’s works betray the painstaking process of their creation. The laborious and contemplative nature of his practice shines through the richly rendered color and translucent striations of drawing, ethereal totems of the artist’s effort. Diebenkorn is considered an essential American abstractionist and his work is represented in many of the most important institutions in the country, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco. 

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Property from a California Estate Sold to Benefit Major Universities


Indigo Horizontal

Etching with aquatint and drypoint in colors, on Somerset paper, with full margins.
I. 23 1/2 x 35 3/4 in. (59.7 x 90.8 cm)
S. 35 5/8 x 48 3/4 in. (90.5 x 123.8 cm)

Signed with initials, dated and numbered 30/50 in pencil (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by Crown Point Press, San Francisco (with their blindstamp), framed.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $68,750

Contact Specialist
Kelly Troester
Worldwide Co-Head of Editions, Modern
+1 212 940 1221
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Cary Leibowitz
Worldwide Co-Head of Editions, Contemporary
1 212 940 1222
[email protected]

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 23 - 24 July 2020