NEW YORK – As anyone who has ever lived by the coast in Southern California knows, the mornings can be overcast. As that haze burns off and the sun emerges, the light has a veiled, translucent quality that can linger long after the mist fades. That is the atmosphere of Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series, a group of 145 canvases and some 500 works on paper that occupied the artist from 1967 to 1985.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1950, double-sided, one side shown. Estimate $100,000–150,000. To be offered in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Day Auction.
Diebenkorn moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Ocean Park section of Santa Monica in 1967, taking over the studio that was occupied previously by abstract painter Sam Francis. His impressions of the low stucco buildings and hills visible from the studio windows were interpreted as carefully composed flat angular planes rendered in shades of yellow, blue, green and pink-tinged whites.
Whether the results are large, as in the nearly eight-foot Ocean Park #20 (he numbered the canvases consecutively), or on the more intimate scale of Green and other works on paper, the complexity and beauty of the series is powerfully evident.
Property from the Collection of Jane and Marc Nathanson, Los Angeles, Ocean Park #20, 1969. Estimate $9,000,000–12,000,000. To be offered in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction.