The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Yale University Press to release Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné
October 22, 2016
Berkeley, CA and New Haven, CT
The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Yale University Press today announced the October 18, 2016 publication of Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, the definitive resource on the singular American artist’s unique works, including sketches; drawings; paintings on paper, board, canvas; and sculptural objects. This seminal, magnificently produced four volume, 2,000 page reference contains more than 5,000 works illustrated in stunning new color photography and exhaustively documented, including many works published for the first time. An art historical and publishing event, the catalogue, $400.00, is the culmination of more than twenty years of work the Diebenkorn family initiated shortly after the artist’s death and will ensure his place in the history of 20th century art.
“The complexity, the passion, the struggle—it’s all here,” says independent curator and author Jane Livingston, who edited the catalogue with Andrea Liguori, Managing Director of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation. “He was brilliant and wanted to be understood,” she adds, remarking that Diebenkorn’s handwritten studio notes made between the 1950s and 1970s and reproduced in their original form will provide new information about his approach to artmaking. In addition to a bibliography and list of exhibitions, the catalogue contains a richly illustrated chronology by Daisy Murray Holman that features the voices of the artist; his wife Phyllis Diebenkorn (d. 2015); and many others, much of which is previously unpublished.
For specialists and enthusiasts alike, the catalogue features essays by scholars of Richard Diebenkorn: art historian, curator and former Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Gerald Nordland, author of Richard Diebenkorn (Rizzoli, 1987) who writes about the early years; museum professional, curator and scholar Steven Nash, co-organizer of Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966 (2013) at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, who writes about the artist’s representational work; Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art John Elderfield, who organized The Drawings of Richard Diebenkorn (1989) and writes about the Ocean Park paintings; and former Curator of Modern Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art Ruth E. Fine, who writes in the catalogue about the artist’s drawings.
Adds Ms. Livingston: “We were stunned by how monumental his output had been. The majority of the works Diebenkorn produced—well over half—never left the artist’s possession.” She asserts that many of these drawings and paintings on paper, never before reproduced or seen, are “heartbreakingly beautiful, completely fresh, exciting and important, among the best things he ever made” and “will be a revelation to even the most knowledgeable Diebenkorn aficionado.”
The artist’s widow inspired a fresh editorial approach that departs from other catalogues raisonnés and, says Ms. Livingston, sets a new standard. “Phyllis [Diebenkorn] wanted viewers to have that experience of reading a book—looking at beautiful pages and stumbling upon the works.” To that end, brief essays by Ms. Livingston are embedded among the works in Volumes Two, Three and Four, illuminating the circumstances of his life at different times and discussing aspects of his work as it evolves. And, she says: “Every Ocean Park painting and most of the other major paintings are reproduced one to a page.”
The catalogue raisonné was printed at Trifolio Press in Verona, Italy, using their proprietary color technology, which provides a range and depth of color that has not been possible until now. It has been produced in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
About Jane Livingston
Ms. Livingston organized the highly acclaimed retrospective The Art of Richard Diebenkorn (1997) at the Whitney Museum of American Art and authored the accompanying exhibition catalogue. The author of many books on painting, sculpture and photography, she served as Curator of 20th-century Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
About the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Phyllis Diebenkorn formed the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in 2007 to research, document and preserve the art and legacy of her late husband. The Foundation assists curators, scholars and historians and provides loans from its collection to museums and academic institutions. The Foundation is currently organizing its archives to make available the artist’s writings, materials, papers and objects. In addition, the Foundation supports art conservation, funds research and makes grants to support art education and publications.
About Yale University Press
Founded in 1908, Yale University Press is one of the oldest and largest American university presses. By publishing serious works that contribute to a global understanding of human affairs, Yale University Press aids in the discovery and dissemination of light and truth, lux et veritas, a central purpose of Yale University. The publications of the Press are books and other materials that further scholarly investigation, advance interdisciplinary inquiry, stimulate public debate, educate both within and outside the classroom, and enhance cultural life. Its renowned art list encompasses the full range of art history from ancient to contemporary, presents today’s leading scholarship in the field, and advances, shares, and celebrates major projects from the world’s leading art museums and foundations. For more information visit www.yalebooks.com. Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @YalePress.