April 22, 1922. Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Jr. was born on April 22, 1922 in Portland, Oregon. His family moved to San Francisco, California, when he was two years old. From the age of four or five he was continually drawing. In 1940, Diebenkorn entered Stanford University, where he met his first two artistic mentors, Professor Victor Arnautoff who guided Diebenkorn in classical formal discipline with oil paint, and Daniel Mendelowitz, with whom he shared a passion for the work of Edward Hopper. Hopper's influence can be seen in Diebenkorn's representational work of this time. In this image: Richard Diebenkorn's painting 'Ocean Park No 54.
Ocean Park 114
"One of the most important hallmarks of the Ocean Park paintings, evident from the very beginning, is that each one creates its own, self-contained chromatic universe, and each functions within that universe in a structurally self-sufficient way. The sheer complexity of incident within each painting, to say nothing of their comparative serial complexity, is unrivaled in the abstract painting of the period. It might well be argued that, in this sense, Mark Rothko takes a distant second place to Richard Diebenkorn."
Never a doctrinaire Abstract painter or Realist painter, Diebenkorn rejected identification with any one school. Indeed, the Ocean Park series, the culmination of his work as an artist, may be seen as a combination of abstract, realistic, and specifically Californian approaches to art.
Injecting the figure into his work, Diebenkorn attains the human element that rejuvenates his creative spirit.
He always insisted in going his own way.