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Ocean Park, No. 6

1968 Richard Diebenkorn Born: Portland, Oregon 1922 Died: Berkeley, California 1993 oil on canvas 91 3/4 x 71 3/4 in. (233.2 x 182.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Arthur J. Levin in memory of his beloved wife Edith © 1968, Richard Diebenkorn 1999.17 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, North Wing


Gallery Label

Diebenkorn maintained that while he was often pigeonholed as either a figural painter or an abstract artist, he was always, at heart, a landscape painter. Ocean Park, No. 6 has something of all three Diebenkorns. The overlapping planes of color recall the view from above as the artist flew over Southern California noting the "ghosts of former tilled fields [and] patches of land being eroded." The progression evokes a flattened topographical image of dry hills descending to roads, sand, and water. But Diebenkorn upended the traditional landscape format from a long horizontal to a vertical. The canvas measures almost eight feet, or the reach of a grown man extending an arm upward. And the suggestion of pink-tinged flesh is unmistakable, as if Diebenkorn's memory of two bathers spooning on the beach intruded into his abstract composition.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Keywords

Abstract

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Richard Diebenkorn

Born: Portland, Oregon 1922 Died: Berkeley, California 1993

More works in the collection by
Richard Diebenkorn

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