The Artist


Moves to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico. UNM Professor Raymond Jonson takes an interest in Diebenkorn, finds him a private studio: a Quonset hut on campus. Family lives in a caretaker’s cottage on a large ranch on the outskirts of town.

Paintings and Sculpture by Richard Diebenkorn and Hassel Smith opens at Lucien Labaudt Gallery in San Francisco. Paul and Josephine “Jo” Kantor visit the Diebenkorns, purchase Untitled #22 (CR no. 586), and begin to act as Diebenkorn’s de facto representation. Lobdell writes Diebenkorn that Park has left abstraction and begun painting figuratively. Lobdell visits the Diebenkorns.

Experiments with different media: linotypes, monotypes and two known iron sculptures. The landscape is resonant for Diebenkorn; finds the work rewarding.

Edward Corbett visits on his way to Taos, confirms that Park has rejected abstraction. Critic Dore Ashton makes studio visit. Family decides to stay at UNM another year, using the rest of GI Bill funds. Visits Corbett and Spohn in Taos on several occasions. Master’s degree exhibition hangs in the Fine Arts Gallery at UNM.

Travels to San Francisco, his first commercial airline flight. Sees the Gorky memorial exhibition; views from plane and Gorky works have a tremendous impact.

Family moves to a house in Albuquerque; relocates studio to a new location on campus. Lobdell visits again. They discuss working at Adja Yunkers’s art school, the Rio Grande Workshop, in Albuquerque; however, the school never comes to fruition. Gerald Nordland and wife Mary visit. Ad Reinhardt and Robert Motherwell select a painting of Diebenkorn’s to include in their publication Modern Artists in America. Reinhardt and Diebenkorn share a brief correspondence.

Offered position at University of Illinois, Urbana. Family spends summer in Southern California. Sees Henri Matisse: Selections from the MoMA Retrospective, selected by Alfred H. Barr Jr., organized by MoMA, presented by Los Angeles Municipal Art Department. Diebenkorn purchases Barr’s monograph, which he will keep for the rest of his life.

Diebenkorn and his family move to Urbana. Uses one of the bedrooms in their new house as a studio. Teaches beginning drawing to first-year architecture students at the University of Illinois. Diebenkorn’s individual teaching style is not appreciated by the rigid department requirements.

Embarks on a productive and rewarding period of painting. Richard Diebenkorn opens at Paul Kantor Gallery in LA. The Green Huntsman (CR no. 1163) appears in Art News.

Carnegie Institute buys A Day at the Race, first purchase by a major East Coast institution.

Leaves Urbana at end of the school year. With Phyllis, drives to NYC and rents friend Jon Schueler’s apartment, 68 East Twelfth Street; Diebenkorn works in the extra room. Meets with John Grillo, Ray Parker, and John Hultberg; goes to Cedar Tavern, where he meets Clement Greenberg, Franz Kline and de Kooning; has first contact with gallery owner Elinor (Ellie) Poindexter.