Meet the Artist
Richard Diebenkorn is an American Abstract Expressionist born in Portland, Oregon in 1922. He began his studies at Stanford University in 1940. Later he would join the United States Marine Corps serving from 1943-1945. In 1946, he was enrolled under the G.I. Bill at the California School of Fine Arts. In the fall of 1946, upon receiving the Albert Bender Grant in Aid Fellowship, he relocated to Woodstock, New York. After his fellowship, he and his wife once again relocated to San Francisco, where he became a faculty member at the California School of Fine Arts. Upon completing his BA from Stanford in 1949, he later decided to enroll in the University of New Mexico in 1950. By 1953 he had received another fellowship, the Abraham Rosenberg Travelling Fellowship, this allowing him to become a full time studio artist. In 1956, he received his first solo exhibition at the Poindexter Gallery in New York, which launched his national reputation as an artist. Upon accepting a teaching position at UCLA in 1966, Diebenkorn began his iconic Ocean Park series, later exhibited in the Malborough Gallery in New York, which would immediately define his unique abstract style. The Ocean Park series later became part of a traveling retrospective exhibition that was showcased in Washington DC, New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and finally Oakland. In 1988 he left Santa Monica to return to the Bay Area, where he built a studio in Healdsburg, in the vineyards north of San Francisco. After a heart attack in 1989, followed by a series of operations and illnesses, he gave up working on his characteristically large canvases to concentrate on a series of gouache drawings. Richard Diebenkorn died in Berkeley on March 30, 1993.