Diebenkorn: Watcher From the Skies

Richard Diebenkorn, Cigar Box Lid #4, 1976, oil on wood, 8 3/8 x 7 1/8 inches (©
Richard Diebenkorn, Cigar Box Lid #4, 1976, oil on wood, 8 3/8 x 7 1/8 inches (© and courtesy the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation)

James Gibbons reviews the exhibition Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series, on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. through September 23, 2012.

Gibbons writes: "The interplay of cultivation and erasure that [Dibenkorn] discerned from his bird's-eye perch offers one way to grasp Diebenkorn's later abstractions, which often evoke the sensation of being suspended from a great height, gazing down into a parceled landscape or landscape analogue. Inviting yet austere, these spacious canvases suggest the earth’s palimpsest when seen from above: flat and smoothed out, but layered with spectral traces of what’s been worn down, scraped away, superseded but not yet obliterated."