Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1945. Watercolor and ink on paper, 9 x 11 7/8 in. (22.9 x 30.2 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1945. Watercolor and ink on paper, 9 x 11 7/8 in. (22.9 x 30.2 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Albuquerque), 1952. Oil on canvas, 55 7/8 x 43 in. (141.9 x 109.2 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Albuquerque), 1952. Oil on canvas, 55 7/8 x 43 in. (141.9 x 109.2 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Horse and Rider), 1954. Oil on canvas, 21 x 24 in. (53.3 x 61 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Horse and Rider), 1954. Oil on canvas, 21 x 24 in. (53.3 x 61 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955

JUN 16 – SEP 23, 2018

The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955.  Featuring approximately 100 paintings and drawings from the collection of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation—most of which have never before been publicly exhibited—this exhibition is the first to focus solely on the work the acclaimed painter made prior to his switch to figuration. Beginnings examines Diebenkorn’s stylistic and technical origins in oil, watercolor, gouache, ink, crayon, and collage, tracing the Portland-born artist’s evolution from representational landscape, to semiabstract and Surrealist-inspired work, to his mature Abstract Expressionist paintings in California from the Sausalito, Albuquerque, Urbana, and early Berkeley years.

A landmark contribution to the study and understanding of Diebenkorn’s work, Beginnings and its companion catalogue reveal the forces that shaped the young artist, including works that range from World War II drawings and watercolors of soldiers and military bases, to abstractions that unite the forms of Surrealism and the fractured planes of Cubism, to gestural works on paper. The exhibition concludes with one of the artist’s first mature figurative paintings, his 1954 Untitled (Horse and Rider), laying the foundation for the representational drawings and paintings starting in the mid-1950s for which Diebenkorn earned wide renown.

Organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, Berkeley, in collaboration with the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento. Curated in Portland by Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.