Richard Diebenkorn, ‘High Green, Version II’, 1992, Christie's

Signed and dated in pencil, numbered 54/65 (there were also ten artist's proofs), published by Crown Point Press, San Francisco, with their blindstamps, with full margins, in very good condition, framed
Image: 39 ¾ x 22 ¾ in. (1010 x 578 mm.)
Sheet: 52 ¾ x 33 ¾ in. (1360 x 880 mm.)

From the Catalogue:
In 1992, a year before his death and the same year he produced his monumental graphic work High Green, Version II (lot 268), Richard Diebenkorn remarked to his daughter in the print studio: "I'm making my drawing in spite of the metal. There are unseen forces there and it's always a competition with them. I think I'm going to make a straight line, and it says, 'Oh, no you don't!'"

Thirty years earlier Diebenkorn's distrusting and delightful engagement with printmaking began when he telephoned Kathan Brown, founder of Crown Point Press. She invited him to a regular Thursday evening drawing group where a live model posed and a group of artists drew directly on (printing) plates. He attended several times but rarely printed from the plates himself, preferring to have Brown print them. Diebenkorn called these early forays into printmaking: "a refreshing change of pace in my work as a whole which in turn may provide new perspectives on it." In fact, his initial concerns that the techniques in making prints would hamper his usual approach to image making turned out to be precisely suited for his ruminative and constant revisions of a subject.

By 1980, Diebenkorn was fifty-eight years old and had published some eighty prints. With exception to a few color lithographs, these were all in black and white. For an artist of Diebenkorn's renown as a colorist, this fact is significant because he was not entirely comfortable with pursuing color in his prints, that is until Brown finally convinced him. She introduced him to the spitbite aquatint process that allowed him to paint directly on the surface of the metal plate with acid. He could then achieve the kind of washy, puddled areas more familiar in the watercolors and paintings that he explored more fully in his twenty-five year preoccupation with the Ocean Park series.
—Courtesy of Christie'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