Green by Richard Diebenkorn: The Story of a Print

Exhibitions Crown Point Press

Green by Richard Diebenkorn: The Story of a Print

Feb 9 — Apr 1, 2017

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Crown Point Press presents Green by Richard Diebenkorn: The Story of a Print, an exhibition dedicated to the process behind the artist’s seminal print, the large aquatint titled Green. On view February 9 to April 1, it features working proofs from the Green project made at Crown Point in 1985 and 1986. Printmaking, unlike painting, preserves through the proofing process the early states of the art’s creation. Exhibited are a related set of four proofs: one from the drypoint plate first made, one from the green aquatint plate, and two that are sequential and resemble the edition prints, but have a few crucial differences. The selection of proofs reveals Diebenkorn’s exploration of form, color, and technique.

In the Crown Point studio, Diebenkorn developed his print images mainly through collage. He would cut up earlier proofs and paste or pin fragments onto the latest version. Collaging helped him make decisions on how to move forward with an image. Both sequential proofs in the exhibition have unique collage on them. The framed proof, for example, has collage on the top area of the image. This proof was the last one made before Diebenkorn completed Green, and it is the only working proof signed and dated by him. The set of four proofs provide an intimate look at his working philosophy and his methodical process of making art. A 14-minute video of Diebenkorn making Green can be viewed in the gallery throughout the exhibition.

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) was an American painter whose work is associated with Abstract Expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1922, Diebenkorn grew up in San Francisco and attended Stanford University and the San Francisco Art Institute (then the California School of Fine Arts). In 1966, he moved to Santa Monica where he began his Ocean Park paintings, dating from 1966 to 1988, for which he has received a great deal of acclaim. Diebenkorn made his first prints at Crown Point Press in 1962 and regularly worked in its studio from 1977 until his death in 1993. Green, his most celebrated print, was published in 1986 and is considered part of the Ocean Park series. Diebenkorn’s work is collected and exhibited internationally, including at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, which presented a solo exhibition by the artist in 2015. Most recently, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art co-curated a major exhibition, titled Matisse/Diebenkorn, which explores the inspiration Diebenkorn found in the work of French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Matisse/Diebenkorn opened in Baltimore in October 2016, and it is on view March 11 – May 29, 2017 at SFMOMA, located on Howard Street across from Crown Point Press.

Green by Richard Diebenkorn: The Story of a Print is on display in the Crown Point Gallery at 20 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, February 9 – April 1, 2017. The gallery hours are Monday 10-5 and Tuesday through Saturday 10-6.

Richard Diebenkorn. working proof for Green — 1985/86