Ocean Park #60 1973
Though he resisted being categorized as a “California artist,” Richard Diebenkorn spent the majority of his career on the West Coast. In the fall of 1966, Diebenkorn moved from Berkeley to Santa Monica, where he found an art studio in Ocean Park, a gritty neighborhood along the oceanfront that was a hub of artistic activity. It was here that Diebenkorn painted the 145 paintings in his Ocean Park series, which he developed over the course of twenty years. The Ocean Park series represents a moment when Diebenkorn shifted back to abstraction after a number of years of working on representational forms. Although Ocean Park #60 doesn’t portray the ocean in a recognizable way, the layered blue and green hues evoke both the light of the ocean and a sense of depth. In contrast to this impression of limitlessness, the sharp spatial divisions along the perimeter of the canvas convey order and containment.
-Linden Hill, PhD Candidate in the Department of Art & Art History
From Left of Center, opened Sept 20, 2019
Ocean Park Series
In 1966, Richard Diebenkorn and his wife Phyllis moved from the Bay Area to the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica in Southern California where they lived for more than twenty years. The area and its surroundings led to a radical shift in the artist’s work-the Ocean Park period-where he precisely balanced form, space, and color. Recording his new environment, the artist painted and sketched the interior studio space and the view from his windows overlooking landscapes and rooftop scenes. As remembered by friend, Wayne Thiebaud, “I went … several times, to his Ocean Park studio … And he had these transom windows. And you’d look out there and you’d see this little patch [of] blue and green, or the concrete abutments that would come, and you could … see what he was processing and essentializing … You have to have that sense of ambiguity … in order to … drive the painting into something other than something obvious and too predictable.” (Courtesy The Diebenkorn Foundation and Acquavella Galleries.)
Up Close: One Painting Tours With Artists
Ocean Park #60
Hosted by art historian and the associate director of ITALIC at Stanford, Kim Beil, the micro-video series focuses on a single object in the Anderson Collection, sparking dialogue with a guest artist.
Kim spoke with San Francisco-based painter Rebekah Goldstein about Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park #60.