Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Getting Berkeley in Shapes 

Wednesday, Jul 10 2013

Richard Diebenkorn will always be associated with the ascendance of Abstract Expressionism in America. Along with Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and other seminal figures of the 20th century, Diebenkorn redefined the boundaries — and public acceptance — of an art form that interpreted the world by avoiding obvious figuration. Throughout his career, though, Diebenkorn went back and forth between abstraction and figuration — a careening captured in precise detail by the de Young Museum's new exhibit, "Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years. 1953-1966." On display are such works as Woman By the Ocean, Seated Man, and Knife in a Glass, where people and objects are front and center. "One of the most interesting polarities of art is between representation, at the one end of the stick, and abstraction, at the other end," Diebenkorn once said, "and I've found myself all over that stick." Diebenkorn had a way with words, but he preferred to put his feelings onto canvases. And his Berkeley works are full of deep meaning, making this exhibit — the first one to spotlight Diebenkorn's Berkeley years — a must-see for anyone with even a faint interest in the work of an artist who spent decades of his life in the Bay Area. The exhibit traces the artists who influenced Diebenkorn (including Motherwell and Elmer Bischoff) and the experiences that also had a profound impact on Diebenkorn and the art he would produce until his death in 1993.

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 2. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013

About The Author

Jonathan Curiel

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"