Richard Diebenkorn was a versatile and influential 20th-century American painter who, over the course of a long career, defied convention and worked in several distinct aesthetic periods. Considered a quintessentially Californian artist, he is perhaps best remembered as a founding member of the Bay Area Figurative movement along with such artists as David Park and Elmer Bischoff. Born on April 22, 1922 in Portland, OR, he grew up in San Francisco and traveled extensively. He initially painted in the manner of Abstract Expressionism, creating gestural, compositionally balanced works. By the 1950s his focus had changed towards painting directly from observation—highly unfashionable at the time, and considered retrograde by many critics.
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