"It wasn't art that I was interested in; it was drawing and painting. I had no real understanding of drawing and painting as art."

“I seem to have to do it elaborately wrong and with many conceits first. Then maybe I can attack and deflate my pomposity and arrive at something straight and simple.” Richard Diebenkorn

"Richard Diebenkorn, Lyrical painter, Dies at 71
By Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, March 31, 1993 of the premier American painters of the postwar era, whose deeply lyrical abstractions evoked the shimmering light and wide-open spaces of California, where he spent virtually his entire life, died yesterday at his home in Berkeley. He was 70.

The cause was respiratory failure after a long illness, said his dealer, Lawrence Rubin of M. Knoedler and Company in Manhattan.

Two rounds of open-heart surgery, pneumonia and a bout of radiation therapy over the last 2 years had hobbled Mr. Diebenkorn, making his breathing so difficult that eventually his creative efforts were limited to drawings and other small-scale works he could produce while bedridden. Even these, in the soft, bleached colors he favored, often suggested a vast scale.

From the beginning of his career, in the late 1940s, he won admirers and exhibited widely. But the distance, both physical and psychological, that he maintained from New York tended to put him out of step with art-world fashion, and it caused either consternation or indifference in many critics. When Abstract Expressionism was ascendant in New York in the 1950s, Diebenkorn switched from abstraction to figuration. When Pop Art made figuration fashionable in the 1960s, he switched back to abstraction.

Diebenkorn cultivated no school, no circle around him. He was a modest, thoughtful and private man who produced a distinctly private and thoughtful brand of art...."
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