Richard Diebenkorn Exhibitions



  • Baltimore Museum of Art, Md., 23 October 2016 - 29 January 2017
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Calif., 11 March 2017 - 29 May 2017
Co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Co-curated by Katherine Rothkopf, Senior Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Janet Bishop, Thomas Weisel Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

With Matisse/Diebenkorn, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) came together to offer a groundbreaking look at the ways Richard Diebenkorn drew inspiration from the French modernist Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Although Matisse's influence has long been recognized in Diebenkorn literature, Matisse/Diebenkorn was the first large-scale exhibition to explore the profound connection between the two artists in depth. A catalogue was published on occasion of the exhibition and featured essays by Bishop, Rothkopf, John Elderfield, and Jodi Roberts.

In an interview conducted in the last decade of Diebenkorn's life, he discussed the French artist's importance: "Matisse always surprises me, he's so rich. One may expect, for example, a certain enhancing at a particular point, but then one looks and finds it's all pretty drab there. He has this marvelous cool, he manages to resist all that jazz, yet he's as sumptuous a painter as there is. It's the restraint coupled with the sensuousness that's so utterly exceptional. It's a musical thing: this transition here, this color there, a wild surprise here that becomes, a little farther up—well, just a gentle part of the harmony." —The New Yorker (September 7, 1987)

"They were painters separated by decades, continents, and artistic movements, but their love of color and passion for painting united them. Though they never met in person, their work is an example of what is possible when one artist is inspired by another." —Baltimore Magazine (October 20, 2016)

"At the core of this show is a conversation in paint about influence and individuality." —Hyperallergic (December 3, 2016)

"Yet both painters had an instinct for the permeable boundary between inside and out: Rooms were windows, landscape was flesh, and light was the scalpel that cut through the distinctions." —Artforum (May 2017)
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