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LOT 0051

Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993) - Girl in Tiled Room

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Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993) - Girl in Tiled Room

Signed ‘R Diebenkorn,' titled ‘Girl in Tiled Room’ and dated ‘1957’ verso, oil on canvas
12 x 10 in. (30.5 x 25.4cm)

Provenance

Collection of Bruce McGraw, 1957.
Allan Stone Gallery, New York, New York, 1977.
B.C. Holland Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 1977.
Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1978.
Terry DeLapp Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1978.
Abe Adler, Valley Village, California, 1979.
James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, 1979.
Xavier Fourcade Gallery, New York, New York, 1979.
Sotheby's, New York, sale of November 19, 1981, lot 20.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Collection of Sidney Rothberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Exhibition

"Formative Years: Early Works by Prominent New York Artists," Visual Arts Museum, New York, New York, November 17-December 16, 1975.
“The Figurative Mode: Bay Area Painting, 1956-1966,” Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University, New York, New York, March 27-April 28, 1984, and Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California, June 20-September 15, 1984 (traveling exhibition).

Literature

Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. III, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2016, p. 198, no. 2174 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

Known primarily for his abstract and landscape paintings, Richard Diebenkorn delved into portraiture in the 1950s during the time he was associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement. In response to the dominance of Abstract Expressionism, several California artists such as Diebenkorn, David Park, and Elmer Bischoff returned to a figurative, representational style, while incorporating abstract treatments of space and color in the figure as well as the background. Regarding his motivations behind this transition, Diebenkorn remarked, “I had never given representational painting a mature chance...I felt that I wanted to take a shot at it.”

Diebenkorn’s portraits from this period capture the essence of his subject, achieving a nuanced exploration of the person with often very few lines or shapes. The artist’s foray into portraiture set the stage for Diebenkorn's later transitions between abstraction and figuration. Set against a familiar red checkered background, Girl in Tiled Room from 1957 encapsulated Diebenkorn’s project at this critical time. Here the artist builds up the figure using blocks of color, lighter shapes where the sunlight is illuminating the figure from the left, and darker blues and greens for the shadow. The face itself glows gold, with just hints of facial features touching the edge of the canvas, looking off into space. This kaleidoscope of a composition brings the eye around and around, landing on the contemplative face nearly as abstract as its surroundings.

In addition to this stunning portrait, Rothberg collected two pencil drawings by the artist from this same period, Untitled (Woman with Crossed Arms, Lot 92) and Untitled (Portrait of a Seated Woman Holding a Cup, Lot 91), both from 1958. These spare drawings retain the workings of the artist, with erasure marks and resituated lines evident particularly in the faces. As with Diebenkorn’s countless other studies of figures and faces from his Berkeley Figurative period, the drawings exhibit an economy of line that creates a sense of the character and movement of the figures that is anything but restrained.

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Time, Location
27 Feb 2024
USA, Philadelphia, PA
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[ translate ]

Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993) - Girl in Tiled Room

Signed ‘R Diebenkorn,' titled ‘Girl in Tiled Room’ and dated ‘1957’ verso, oil on canvas
12 x 10 in. (30.5 x 25.4cm)

Provenance

Collection of Bruce McGraw, 1957.
Allan Stone Gallery, New York, New York, 1977.
B.C. Holland Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 1977.
Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1978.
Terry DeLapp Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1978.
Abe Adler, Valley Village, California, 1979.
James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, 1979.
Xavier Fourcade Gallery, New York, New York, 1979.
Sotheby's, New York, sale of November 19, 1981, lot 20.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Collection of Sidney Rothberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Exhibition

"Formative Years: Early Works by Prominent New York Artists," Visual Arts Museum, New York, New York, November 17-December 16, 1975.
“The Figurative Mode: Bay Area Painting, 1956-1966,” Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University, New York, New York, March 27-April 28, 1984, and Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California, June 20-September 15, 1984 (traveling exhibition).

Literature

Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. III, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2016, p. 198, no. 2174 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

Known primarily for his abstract and landscape paintings, Richard Diebenkorn delved into portraiture in the 1950s during the time he was associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement. In response to the dominance of Abstract Expressionism, several California artists such as Diebenkorn, David Park, and Elmer Bischoff returned to a figurative, representational style, while incorporating abstract treatments of space and color in the figure as well as the background. Regarding his motivations behind this transition, Diebenkorn remarked, “I had never given representational painting a mature chance...I felt that I wanted to take a shot at it.”

Diebenkorn’s portraits from this period capture the essence of his subject, achieving a nuanced exploration of the person with often very few lines or shapes. The artist’s foray into portraiture set the stage for Diebenkorn's later transitions between abstraction and figuration. Set against a familiar red checkered background, Girl in Tiled Room from 1957 encapsulated Diebenkorn’s project at this critical time. Here the artist builds up the figure using blocks of color, lighter shapes where the sunlight is illuminating the figure from the left, and darker blues and greens for the shadow. The face itself glows gold, with just hints of facial features touching the edge of the canvas, looking off into space. This kaleidoscope of a composition brings the eye around and around, landing on the contemplative face nearly as abstract as its surroundings.

In addition to this stunning portrait, Rothberg collected two pencil drawings by the artist from this same period, Untitled (Woman with Crossed Arms, Lot 92) and Untitled (Portrait of a Seated Woman Holding a Cup, Lot 91), both from 1958. These spare drawings retain the workings of the artist, with erasure marks and resituated lines evident particularly in the faces. As with Diebenkorn’s countless other studies of figures and faces from his Berkeley Figurative period, the drawings exhibit an economy of line that creates a sense of the character and movement of the figures that is anything but restrained.

[ translate ]
Estimate
Unlock
Reserve
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Time, Location
27 Feb 2024
USA, Philadelphia, PA
Auction House
Unlock