A pivotal figure in the history of modern painting, Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) was an innovator whose work inspired legions of artists and greatly advanced the lexicon of abstraction. The Corcoran is the only East Coast venue for Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series, the first major museum exhibition to focus on the artist’s most celebrated body of work. The exhibition features more than 80 works, including large-scale paintings, smaller paintings made on cigar box lids, mixed-media drawings on paper, monotypes, and prints.
Named after the Southern California beachfront community where Diebenkorn worked between 1967 and 1988, the Ocean Park series grew out of a fertile period in the artist’s career when he abandoned the figurative style that had previously characterized his work. He went on to produce monumental, geometric abstractions formed of panes of luminous color. These powerful abstract investigations of space, light, and color evoke landscape and architectural forms as well as the sense of place that defined the California coast during this time.