Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1969 / by Les Ann Holland


Photo: © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, 2018.

Diebenkorn, Richard. Lithograph on paper, 24 1/4 in. x 18 13/16 in. (61.6 cm x 47.78 cm)

Collection SFMOMA

In the upper half of the vertical composition, we encounter a double curve, one black above the blue, points originating from the right-hand edge of the picture plane. Undulating downward, the curves connect before forming what appears to be a rectangle of ultramarine, just touching, though not all edges connect. A shape mimics the rectangle, a somewhat golden cadmium light. Just to the left of the intersection and below, pointing toward the curves and beyond, is the shard of an enlarged green line. Below this, a black pyramid directs toward the negative space, or is it the ground of, the channel which we would suppose leads us to the top of the picture plane? The channel directs us off of the right-hand edge. Following the black edge down the image and to the left, we discover a blue shape, the wedge of which serves to anchor a black cable receding into the space above us. Or, is it a line anchored to the aerial view of the tri-colored shapes and similar line weight of our curves above? It is clear that the blue shape is a different blue than the aforementioned ultramarine. The inquiry of color, however, is thus: is the original blue line the same as the cobalt or the ultramarine shapes? Does the umber below the blue line disappear? A quick read of the surface itself may answer the question of position. However, one question remains: what about the red underpinnings and the golden rectangle in the upper left-hand corner?

Lithograph on paper,
24 1/4 in. x 18 13/16 in. (61.6 cm x 47.78 cm) Collection SFMOMA