Richard Diebenkorn and Sam Francis

In 1967, Richard Diebenkorn set up shop in a studio in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica, California, where he began a series of works he would continue for the next 20 years. The “Ocean Park” paintings are characterized by the bright light of Southern California and mark a departure from Diebenkorn’s figurative work—a move he credited to the open, light-soaked studio, previously inhabited by Abstract Expressionist Sam Francis. “As soon as I moved into Sam's space, I did about four large canvases—still representational, but again, much flatter," Diebenkorn said. "Then, suddenly, I abandoned the figure altogether.”

Richard Diebenkorn in his Ocean Park studio, Santa Monica, CA, 1984. Photograph by Leo Holub. Courtesy of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

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