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Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park Series at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Until January 15th, 2012, an exhibit displaying the Ocean Park series by Richard Diebenkorn is on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.


Richard Diebenkorn spent his youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a part of the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 50s and 60s that dealt with abstract impressionism.   In the 1960s, the artist moved to Santa Monica, California and had his studio in a neighborhood called Ocean Park.  The Ocean Park series, which includes over 140 paintings, was started by the artist in 1967 and was developed over the next 25 years.  The multitude of paintings were largely instrumental in Diebenkorn’s achievement of becoming a world renowned artist.  Ocean Park was a clear departure from his previous abstract impressionism and a move into an abstract geometric style that represents aerial landscapes.
Richard Diebenkorn Ocean Park #79, 1975 Oil on canvas.  Philadelphia Museum of Art.
This exhibit features not only the largest selection of the series ever on view together, but also many other Diebenkorn items.  A unique element to the exhibit is having the opportunity to view the cigar box lids that he painted.  As a cigar aficionado, he often kept his art supplies in cigar boxes and painted the lids as gifts for family and friends.  Many of these are on display.  Another interesting part of the exhibit is the documentary featuring an interview with Diebenkorn that plays on a large screen in a side room.  It’s quite amazing to hear the artist speak about his work while surrounded by that same work. Many of these pieces of work are from private collections and are rarely seen by the public.