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Richard Diebenkorn is one of America’s greatest post-war artists, yet he is comparatively little known in the UK. But that may be about to change thanks to the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) which has launched the first major survey of Diebenkorn’s figurative and abstract works in the UK in almost 25 years.

 

According to the RA, Diebenkorn was a quintessential colourist who searched for “rightness” and approached each work as a series of problems to be resolved. His sumptuous palette and compositions reveal a sensitivity to his environment and geography as well as a talent for capturing a sense of the light and space of the various locations in which he worked.

 

The RA’s exhibition explores Diebenkorn’s practice across four decades, focusing on the three different stages of his career from his initial embrace of abstraction in the early 1950s, his shift to figurative painting in the mid-1950s, and his return to abstraction in the late 1960s.

 

Comprising more than 50 works with significant loans from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, “Richard Diebenkorn” demonstrates the variety and subtlety of the artist’s oeuvre and reveals the vital role he played in the development of American art.