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Richard Diebenkorn Works on View in Two Exhibitions at Cantor Arts Center
Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Tomato & Knife),1963. Oil on canvas. Lent by the Santa Cruz Island Foundation. Credit: Santa Cruz Island Foundation. Photograph: William B.Dewey © Estate of Richard Diebenkorn.

STANFORD, CA.- Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents two exhibitions of Richard Diebenkorn’s work from July 23 through November 9, 2008. Diebenkorn (1922–1993), who spent most of his life in California, studied art at Stanford in the 1940s and returned to Stanford in 1963–64 as artist-in-residence. He and members of his family have generously donated works of his art to Stanford’s art museum, now the Cantor Arts Center.

“Diebenkorn’s legacy as a great American modernist spans five decades, from the 1940s to the 1990s,” said Betsy G. Fryberger, the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator of Prints and Drawings. “His journey led from ‘Palo Alto Circle’ of 1943, which grew from Edward Hopper’s realism, to experiments with abstraction in ‘View of the Ocean, Santa Cruz Island’ of 1958, and later returning to representational forms in ‘View from the Studio, Ocean Park’ of 1974. The Bay Area Figurative Movement claimed Diebenkorn as one of its own, yet he maintained an individualistic stance throughout his career.”

The exhibition “Richard Diebenkorn, Artist, and Carey Stanton, Collector: Their Stanford Connection” presents 45 works by Diebenkorn that belonged to his friend and fellow Stanford alumnus Carey Stanton (1923–1987). Stanton’s taste as a collector was rooted in a specific place, Santa Cruz Island, the largest privately owned island off the continental United States. With views of the island and its buildings predominating, this group of works can also be seen in the larger context of the development of modernist expression in American art.

Historically and artistically significant, these small paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings are “presented as a tribute to a deep friendship of almost half a century,” wrote Marla Daily, President of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation, which now owns the collection. The exhibition also includes personal correspondence between the Diebenkorns and Stanton, Diebenkorn’s designs for the Santa Cruz Island flag, and memorabilia, in the form of photographs of the island terrain and ranch buildings. This exhibition, guest curated by Helen Tye Talkin and presented in the Cantor Arts Center’s Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery, is made possible by the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Fund.

“Richard Diebenkorn: Abstractions on Paper,” on view in the Center’s Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery, presents a selection of prints and other works on paper from the Center’s collection and from several private collections. These works represent Diebenkorn’s exploration of abstraction during the 1970s and 1980s. Several large gouaches on view, named for his studio in Santa Monica near Ocean Park Boulevard, are fully realized creations, not preparatory studies related to paintings. These show Diebenkorn's light and sure touch in the overlays of delicate washes. As a printmaker, Diebenkorn skillfully exploited a variety of media, from monotype to intaglio at Crown Point Press in San Francisco to lithography at Gemini in Los Angeles. A sampling of these is included among the dozen works on view.

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July 22, 2008

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