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Diebenkorn show postponed again at Orange County Museum of Art

December 29, 2009 |  3:37 pm

Oranges Luis Sinco LAT For the second time, the Orange County Museum of Art has postponed its much-anticipated exhibition "Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series, 1967-1985." Originally scheduled to open in October, the survey of major abstract paintings by the late California artist had been pushed to April after the national economy soured last year.

Now the show has been removed from the museum's schedule. No date has been announced, although OCMA insists the cancellation is temporary.

According to a museum spokesman, the Diebenkorn exhibition "continues to grow in scope and size and therefore, we’re reassessing the entire schedule for its presentation here and at the other venues." The "Ocean Park" series is the most widely admired body of paintings by Diebenkorn (1922-93), who first came to prominence in the Bay Area but who worked in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.

Last summer, OCMA director Dennis Szakacs told The Times that the show would be the most expensive undertaking in the museum's history, with a budget of $800,000. Like many museums buffeted by the economic downturn, OCMA has shaved its annual operating costs (from $5.1 million in 2007 to $3.6 million this year). The exhibition program has been trimmed from 10 to five major shows annually.

A comprehensive Diebenkorn retrospective was organized by New York's Whitney Museum of American Art in 1997, but the "Ocean Park" series has never been the subject of a major survey. The full series includes more than 140 paintings. Number 49 is on view in the permanent collection galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, while Number 131 is included in "Collection: MOCA's First 30 Years" at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The April slot that had been planned for Diebenkorn at OCMA will now be filled by two shows drawn from the permanent collection -- one focused on recent acquisitions and the other on contemporary photography.

-- Christopher Knight

Photo: Oranges; credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (3)

I knew this would happen. By far the best paintings ever done in this state, only Sam Francis rivals, and he was often in Paris and his prints i find much better than his paintings anyway. I am always amazed how Californains can be so bad with color, when we have the perfect Mediterranean light for understanding harmonies and the northern and desert skies of Baja and the desert for range.

But we are REALLY bad with color, too lazy to study and FEEL it, and understand its musical qualities. Still rather ,er, still, no life or glow, Diebenkorn the only one I have ever seen who understand it, its a French thing, we American too busy with packaging and toys, and not into the spiritual everfescence of life, of the work having its own internal power and light, like Bonnard and even some German types like Nolde. de Stael sometimes, Soulages with black, but we just dont get paint, as with our horrible beige LACMA that would be so easy to give life to, just paint the damn pillars, I already have proven it can made alive on my blog, and fit into the environment. Even make a pilar available to an artist to mess with, have a contest or something. Make Times Court alive, not boring Orange county beige for gods sake. Oh, thats right, god has been banned from the building,. whichc is why the spirituality of color is so lacking.

same ole dame ole, and I knew this would happen to Diebenkorn, the boy could draw too, only Hockney started to get color, then turned to cut out cartoons and could never draw a lick, amazing how you had that show a few years abog aobut his daughtmanship, it was quite hilarious, in a sad sort of way. Imperial Clothing strikes again.

art collegia delenda est

I appreciate your comments Mr. Frazell. The Diebenkorn painting at the Met Museum of Art in NYC is the only piece that I seek out on my visits there in the modern wing. I never could quite figure out why the Diebenkorn's painting attracted me. I thought it was the deceptively minimal composition. But I'd say you are right. His use of color speaks across that fine line of consciousness that we look for in great art. Thanks so much for the insight.

Click on my name below to see how color can be used to revitalize, and bring life back to our dull and boring art museums. Color is the harmony of art, the spiritual essence, which has been denied and ridden of in contemporary art and that of the academies. For color is about life, makes you FEEL it, where acadmeic art is about the individuals precious feelings and clever ideas, expressing his inner anguish, which is as boring as these museums.

Creative art is about defining humanity, exploring nature and searching for god. It is a layered series of relationships, from which the life and power comes of line as melody, color as harmony, and structure as rhythm fills the mind, body and soul with passion. Schools are scared of color, as it is about us, the world, god, and not the individual, from whom payments are due on school tuitions. It is not about hack teachers, those who can do in the arts, those who cant teach. And selling the idea of being an artist to tens of thousands of talentless children. Art comes form decades of study, and living. Being a part of the whole, and finding balance in life. Color is essential, and powerful, and dangerous to thsoe who play it safe and dont want to rock the boat, to maintaint the status quo they have ben sudccessful in, but may be decayed and dying. Truth is not the goal, career is.

And color is very, very very dangerous, and difficult for those wo are strictly mental, in more ways than one. Who now control the arts, The intelligent common man knows this instinctually, but doesnt have the time or inclination to figure out why, we got lives to lead, bills to pay, kids to raise. Art is no longer an important part of humanity, at least not in the consumer oriented western world, but is beginning to be again. The age of Exces is over, and a time of balance, responsibility, and sacrifice upon us.

art collegia delenda est

Save the Watts Towers, tear down, or at least paint, the Ivories.


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