I don’t remember exactly where I found it, but this poster of Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park #54” hung in my bedroom for about ten years. It followed me from my middle school days to my college apartment. There was just something about it that I loved, and I still do. Seeing the large-scale original many (many) years later at SFMOMA this week was very satisfying. While I sometimes look back and wonder what I was thinking when I chose a piece of furniture a decade later, I appreciated the consistency in my admiration of his works.
The exhibition itself, Matisse | Diebenkorn, tells the story beautifully of Matisse’s influence on Diebenkorn’s work. From subject matter to color palettes, the side-by-side displays demonstrate Diebenkorn’s admiration of and inspiration from Matisse.
Here, a view of Notre Dame Cathedral from Matisse’s apartment window on the left, and Diebenkorn’s interpretation of Ingleside Terraces, where he lived in San Francisco. (Side note, we went to the same high school.)
Representational paintings by Matisse (left) and Diebenkorn (right):
Figurative paintings from Matisse (left) and Diebenkorn (right):
The majority of the exhibit showed Diebenkorn’s work, which I greatly admired. Ocean Park #54 is somewhat sentimental for me, and I loved seeing the grand scale of the other pieces in this series. These two were stand-outs, but these images do not do them justice. If you have the opportunity to see the exhibit before it ends this month, head down to SFMOMA and enjoy them in person.
Images courtesy of SFMOMA.