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Richard Diebenkorn 1922–1993
Etching, aquatint and drypoint on paper
Image: 277 × 200 mm
Purchased 1982

Display caption

This is an abstract image with residual landscape features. It relates to Diebenkorn's 'Ocean Park' paintings, an extended series of pictures made between 1967 and the late 1980s, eventually numbering well over one hundred works. An important inspiration for the series were the near abstract paintings of Matisse, made between 1909 and 1916. Diebenkorn's images depict tilted-up perspectives of suburban views, criss-crossed with roadways, found on the West Coast of America where the artist lived for many years. The prints of this series, while recalling the abstract shapes and lines of Diebenkorn's paintings, are complete works in their own right. In their modest scale, they relate closely to his drawings and studies for compositions.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

P07644 No. 4 from Five Aquatints with Drypoint 1978

Etching with open bite, aquatint and drypoint 10 7/8 × 7 7/8 (277 × 200) on paper 18 7/8 × 13 (480 × 330) watermarked ‘RIVES’, printed by Lilah Toland at Crown Point Press, Oakland, California and published by them
Inscribed ‘4 RD 78’ b.r. and ‘20/35’; impressed with the printer's and publisher's stamp
Purchased at Christie's, New York (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Lit: Richard Diebenkorn: Intaglio Prints, exhibition catalogue, University of California, Santa Barbara, Art Museum, June–September 1979, no. 114 (trial proof repr. p.51)

Having previously had two stints making etchings at Crown Point Press, in 1963–5 and 1977, Diebenkorn returned there in December 1978 to make the set from which this print comes, a single etching and another set entitled ‘Six Softground Etchings’. These prints explore the same subjects as Diebenkorn's paintings but though they are complete works in their own right they relate more closely to his working drawings and studies for compositions. This print, characteristically, relates to his extended series of ‘Ocean Park’ paintings, in which an up-tilted perspective of American West Coast suburban views criss-crossed with roadways is abstracted into a powerful formal vocabulary of shapes and lines: ‘No.4’ ‘is essentially abstract even with the whimsical landscape motif at the top’ (letter from the artist, 1986).

This entry has been aproved by the artist.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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