Richard Diebenkorn, ‘Green’, 1986, Sotheby's

Initialed in pencil, dated and numbered 45/60 (total edition includes ten artist's proofs), on Somerset paper, with the blindstamp of the printer and publisher, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, framed.

plate: 1145 by 895 mm 45 by 35 1/4 in
sheet: 1363 by 1034 mm 53 3/4 by 40 3/4 in

From the Catalogue:
Green, the artist’s largest and most important print, is one of the icons of postwar printing in America. The monumental size, balanced composition and layers of abstraction and brilliant color were a culmination of Diebenkorn’s achievements in printmaking.

A video created by Kathan Brown over the two week period in January 1986 when Diebenkorn worked on Green illustrates how closely the artist collaborated with the master printers at Crown Point Press and shows his exploration of technique, form and color. As with his paintings, Diebenkorn employed a trial-and-error approach, resulting in dozens of different states and working proofs. According to Brown, “After the printers pulled a proof, he pasted or pinned cutout paper shapes to it until he got something he thought might work. Then the printers helped him figure out how to put the changes he wanted into the plates.”

Given the size of Diebenkorn's Green, it was his most technically challenging print to produce. The final printing took seven plates, three different greens and the collaboration of five different printers. The plate took one and a half hours to ink and each impression took two hours to print.

The video can be found at
—Courtesy of Sotheby’s

About Richard Diebenkorn

A highly influential mid-century American artist, Richard Diebenkorn is known for his abstract landscape paintings, in particular the "Ocean Park" series, which he exhibited when representing America at the 1978 Venice Biennale. Diebenkorn’s work is often highly gestural and layered, his use of the medium comparable to that of contemporaries like the Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning, an artist he greatly admired. Diebenkorn, however, preferred California to the competitive New York art scene, and became a leading artist among the Bay Area Figurative painters. Even at its most abstract, Diebenkorn’s work remains rooted in the outside world, and he is celebrated for capturing his surroundings on canvas without representing them literally. Moving between New Mexico, Illinois, and, ultimately, California, his work progresses in tune with the changing architecture and landscape. Diebenkorn also painted portraits, expertly combining figurative and abstract styles in the same picture.

American, 1922-1993, Portland, Oregon, based in San Francisco, California