Richard Diebenkorn, ‘Collage,’ 1959. Oil, pasted canvas, and graphite on canvas.
© Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
“Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Works on Paper, 1948-1992” enters its final weeks at Berggruen Gallery, and a recent tour of the exhibition with gallerist John Berggruen shows it deserves a second look. The show (the gallery’s ninth solo Diebenkorn exhibition) features more than 50 paintings, works on paper, prints and collages, including several rarely seen from private collections.
Presented over the gallery’s three floors, Berggruen toured me through the first level, which introduces Diebenkorn’s early experiments with abstraction, as well as works that feel like studies for some of the foundational visual language of the artist’s “Ocean Park” series. Among the highlights are “Ocean Park #23,” from 1969, and a rarely exhibited example of the cigar box lid paintings, titled “Cigar Box Lid #4,” from 1976. The gallery’s lower level features primarily prints and collage, including the spectacular “Untitled (Yellow Collage)” from 1969.
The second floor holds the bulk of the figurative work, including a portrait of fellow artist David Park as well as 1962’s “Tennis Player” and “Marin Landscape” dating from 1961-62. Rarely will one get the opportunity to see a Diebenkorn show of this magnitude in a setting so intimate.
An online viewing room of the exhibition is also featured on the gallery’s website.
Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Works on Paper, 1948-1992: On view through April 30 by appointment only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations. Berggruen Gallery, 10 Hawthorne St., S.F. 415-781-4629. berggruen.com
— Tony Bravo