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Berkeley #8

Richard Diebenkorn

Berkeley #8

Richard Diebenkorn
  • Date: 1954
  • Style: Abstract Expressionism
  • Series: Berkeley (1953-1956)
  • Genre: abstract
  • Media: oil, canvas
  • Dimensions: 175.6 x 150.2 cm

Berkeley No. 8 is one of Diebenkorn's last Abstract Expressionist paintings, executed upon his return to California and just before transitioning to more imagistic work as part of the Bay Area Figurative School. Perhaps hinting at this return to representational form, Berkeley No. 8 - as opposed to his earlier Abstract Expressionist works - exhibits a more expanded view of the landscape, with an increased number of forms and more varied detail. In the lower right quadrant, the artist introduces additional overlapping and, therefore, more of a spatial component - a suggestion of depth - as well as supplementary diagonal lines and shapes that interrupt the flatness and surface orientation of earlier examples of his work. In this painting, it has been suggested that Diebenkorn was influenced by the landscapes of Chaim Soutine, with their divided surfaces and diagonal intrusions, but more importantly - in view of the fact that the work is both drawn and painted - it relates to and ties together the two kinds of Abstract Expressionism: gestural abstraction and Color Field Painting, as exemplified in the work of Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko, respectively.

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