• The cover of Richard Diebenkorn (Abrams)

  • Berkeley #5, 1953, private collection © 2015 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Ocean Park #116, 1979, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; museum purchase, gift of Mrs. Paul L. Wattis © 2015 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Ocean Park #27, 1970, Brooklyn Museum; gift of The Roebling Society and Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Blatt
    and Mr. and Mrs. William K. Jacobs, Jr, 72.4 © 2015 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Untitled (Invented Landscape), 1966, collection of the Oakland Museum of California;
    gift of the Estate of Howard E. Johnson © 2015 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
With a major retrospective at London’s Royal Academy of Arts and a new monograph out by Abrams, artist Richard Diebenkorn is having a moment — and this, more than two decades after death. Take a glimpse at his work above and it’s easy to see why and how he continues to fascinate and inspire. Diebenkorn is a master colorist, drawing you into his compositions with his balanced eye for shapes, overlapping planes and gorgeous layers of pigment. There’s a calm beauty and emotion in his paintings.

Shine the spotlight on the man himself and you realize that, in the annals of postwar American-art history, Diebenkorn holds a curious spot. While the big-name artists of his era were centered squarely on the East Coast, with the likes of Rothko and Pollock making waves in New York, Oregon-born Diebenkorn planted himself across the country in California. When Abstract Expressionism was all the rage in the Fifties, he moved from abstraction to figuration. And when the pendulum swung back — putting figuration back in vogue with Pop Art in the Sixties — Diebenkorn forged his own path again, and returned to abstraction. “If you don’t assume a rigid historical mission,” he once said, “you have infinitely more freedom.” Discover the full narrative of his brilliant life and career in Richard Diebenkorn, the show and the book.