Today's blog comes from Candace Weir, Central Library staff:
Another new book has a home in the collection. It is Richard Diebenkorn: the Ocean Park series. This series of abstract paintings transport me back to the clear cerulean blue of the ocean, the white sands and the clapboard beach front houses of southern California.
The artist started producing paintings for this series in 1967. It was at this point, that he moved from a highly successful career making representational figurative paintings to Ocean Park’s strangely emotive abstracts.
The paintings remind me of the experience of flying over the rice fields that surround Sacramento. While flying through the clouds and sky, you could also see them reflected from the patchwork of watery shapes below. The experience was all too fleeting but my memories of it persist. I find that Diebenkorn’s abstract style captures these sensations better than a representational style would. My mind too easily identifies with objects and starts to categorize them withering the emotional impact.
His use of colour and his technique of application are fascinating. Thin layers of colours are partially scraped away to reveal the layers below which creates subtler shades. These complex colours are coupled with sharp delineations of forms that hint of roads and buildings – surreal subdivisions. There is an aerial feel to his paintings.
As well, the paintings flirt with light; an inner light defines them.
Any one of his paintings would have a honoured position on my walls, although the ones he did on the lids of cigar boxes have a special appeal.
This book plays homage to a wonderful body of work and a great painter. It is about time.