Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 Seventeenth Street NW Washington, DC 20006
Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #83, 1975. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 inches. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Museum Purchase with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the William A. Clark Fund, and Mary M. Hitchcock 1975.30. © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.
On what was the hottest day I've ever experienced in Washington DC I went to this exhibit. Air conditioned galleries and breezy abstracts made the day more than pleasant. I love this type of exhibit that illuminates an entire body of work - especially one that I've mostly witnessed in books or by a solitary picture exhibited in museums here and there.
More than any abstract painter I'm familiar with these pictures suggest a reality and sense of a place with vivid emotional strength. They suggest architecture, the ocean, landscape, cityscape and interiors. They remind me of some of Matisse's large canvases, especially his windows. I also relate to these pictures because of my own photographic attempts at rendering reality abstractly. Some of Diebenkorn's monochrome prints reminded me of photographs. Included are sketches, smaller paintings done on cigar box lids and prints. Also is a 20 minute film worth watching.
But the large canvases are exhilarating and inspirational. A must see if you can.