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ArtNet News: Rare Richard Diebenkorn Works Shine at Van Doren Waxter

By Sarah Cascone

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, c. 1952–53, watercolor and graphite on paper, 12 7/8 x 18 7/8 in. (32.7 x 47.9 cm) © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

After years in storage, brightly-colored paintings finally come to light.

“Albuquerque was, I guess, my period of reclusiveness,” said Richard Diebenkorn in a 1985 interview with Susan Larsen. “There is something that really is kind of overwhelming and most immediately apparent [in the Southwest].”

A key era in the painter’s career is currently on view at New York’s Van Doren Waxter gallery, where 30 never-before-seen works on paper are included in “Richard Diebenkorn: Early Color Abstractions: 1949–1955.”

These delicate watercolor and gouache works reflect the influence of the vast landscape of the western United States, even as Diebenkorn embraced the current vogue of Abstract Expressionism. “They’re fantastic, totally representative of the moment,” gallery co-owner John van Doren told artnet News in a private tour of the exhibition. “The quality of the color is so spectacular because they had never been in the light.”

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