TEASER Richard Diebenkorn (April 22, 1922 – March 30, 1993) was a well-known 20th century American painter. His early work is associated with Abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. His later work (best known as the Ocean Park paintings) were instrumental to his achievement of worldwide acclaim.
Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Jr. was born on April 22, 1922 in Portland, Oregon. His family moved to San Francisco, California, when he was two years old. From the age of four or five he was continually drawing. In 1940, Diebenkorn entered Stanford University, where he met his first two artistic mentors, professor and muralist Victor Arnautoff, who guided Diebenkorn in classical formal discipline with oil paint; and Daniel Mendelowitz, with whom he shared a passion for the work of Edward Hopper. Hopper's influence can be seen in Diebenkorn's representational work of this time. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, he lived and worked in various places: New York City, Woodstock, New York, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Urbana, Illinois and Berkeley, California (1953–1966). He developed his own style of abstract expressionist painting. Abstract expressionism had captured worldwide attention, having developed in New York during the 1940s.
Diebenkorn served in the United States Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945. After WWII, the focus of the art world shifted from the School of Paris to the New York School. In the early 1950s, Diebenkorn adopted abstract expressionism as his vehicle for self-expression, influenced at first by Clyfford Still, Arshile Gorky, Hassel Smith and Willem de Kooning. He became a leading abstract expressionist on the west coast. In 1950 to 1952, Diebenkorn was enrolled under the G.I. Bill in the University of New Mexico’s graduate fine-arts department where he created a lucid version of Abstract Expressionism.M