While driving to work at the foundry last week I was delighted to be able to stop in Palm Springs Art Museum to view the current Richard Diebenkorn exhibit.
Diebenkorn is known as one of the most significant California artists of his lifetime. The show presents the work of his Berkeley Years (1953-1966) while he lived there with his family. The obvious influence of the work of Henri Matisse on Diebenkorn was beautifully apparent and moving. The entire exhibit is both stirring and relaxing under a dramatic umbrella of nearly 100 works. While his expressions are typically vibrant in color, many of his works in pen and ink quite surprisingly, truly captured my heart on an intimate plane surely as rich as his vibrantly colored ones.
One of the most intriguing, and to me perhaps one of the most profound, aspects of his work is his courageous movement out of the realm of abstract expressionism, while highly successful, and into the realm of representational expression despite serious public criticisms. He seemed not to care nearly as much about the public’s reception of what he created as he did his own integrity and growth as an ever-evolving artist. His powerful and courageous practice continues to be a deep inspiration toward that ever longing call for each of us to simply continue to grow with a steadfast internal compass listening to the heart above and beyond the world’s response. His Berkeley years surely expanded his contribution to our world of art despite the publics inability to appreciate its evolution at the time.
The exhibit continues through February 16th. For more information please visit http://www.psmuseum.org/palm-springs/exhibition/richard-diebenkorn-berkeley-years-1953-1966/