* 1922 Portland/Oregon
† 1993 Berkeley/Kalifornien
Richard Diebenkorn, one of the main representatives of Californian Abstract Expressionism, was born in Portland/Oregon in 1922. In 1924 the family relocated to San Francisco.
In 1940 Richard Diebenkorn enrolled at Stanford University. His education was interrupted by military service (1943-1945). After the war Richard Diebenkorn returned to San Francisco, and picked up his studies again at the California School of Fine Arts (1946/47). In 1949 he completed Stanford University with a B. A., he then continued his studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque (1950 to 1952). In 1953 Richard Diebenkorn went to New York, where he met Franz Kline and other members of the post-war avant-garde. Afterwards Richard Diebenkorn settled in Berkeley.
In these early years Richard Diebenkorn worked in the style of Abstract Expressionism. However, around the mid 1950s Richard Diebenkorn sought a more figurative approach. Influenced by the art of Edward Hopper he made still lives, landscapes and figure pieces. Works from this figurative period, which lasted until 1967, were quite popular.
In 1966 Richard Diebenkorn followed a call to the University of California in Los Angeles, where he taught until 1973. Soon after he had moved to L. A. his figurative period also came to an end: As of 1967 the artist walked the path of abstraction again.
The career of Richard Diebenkorn took off at an early point: The California Palace of the Legion of Honor organized his first solo show as early as in 1948. In 1968 Richard Diebenkorn participated in the Venice Biennale, in 1972 he had a solo show at the San Francisco Museum of Art. In 1976/77 the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo showed a large retrospective, which continued to Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Oakland as traveling exhibition. By that time Richard Diebenkorn had become an established representative of Northern American post-war art. Works by Richard Diebenkorn are in possession of renowned houses such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York or Tate Britain in London.
Richard Diebenkorn died in Berkeley/California in 1993.