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Status, price and estimate of the artist Richard DIEBENKORN

Price of a signed painting: 100,000 – 15,000,000€.

Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €5,000 – 400,000

Selling price of a lithograph: 2,000 – 30,000€.

An artist divided between figuration and abstract abstractionism

Born in Portland, he entered the famous Stanford University in 1940, where he learned drawing and painting from the greatest, such as Daniel Mendelowitz, who inspired his passion for the works of Edward Hopper. The style of this master of realism had a significant influence on his first figurative works, which were the subject of a major rediscovery in 2018 thanks to an exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, devoted to his early work.

At the same time, abstract expressionism was at the centre of the American avant-garde and attracted Diebekorn from the early 1950s. His strongest influence at that time was Wilhem de Kooning. After his encounter with de Kooning’s art, his painting underwent a clear break and moved towards a clear abstraction that made him one of the most important figures of this movement on the West Coast until about 1955, when he decided to turn to a new form of painting, halfway between figuration and abstract expressionism.

Then, between the autumn of 1964 and the spring of 1965, he travelled through Europe where he discovered the most important works of Matisse, which he would later see again at several exhibitions in the United States. Matisse’s influence was to be decisive, sometimes described as an epiphany for the artist and clearly visible in some of his works, particularly in his great masterpiece: the cycle of 135 paintings known as Ocean Park, begun in 1967 and continued for eighteen years. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be holding an exhibition entitled “Matisse/Diebenkorn” in 2017.

Lyrical abstraction or the consecration of a life of research

In 1967, he moved to Santa Monica, where he became a professor at the University of California and Los Angeles, at which time he decided to return to abstraction, but with a much more geometric and personal style that would be characterized as lyrical abstraction. He then changed studios, but continued this style, which he pursued until his death. It is the one that is most rooted in the popular imagination and few know that he was, at least twice in his career, a figurative painter. From 1989 onwards, his health problems prevented him from producing large-scale works, but he persisted in drawing and painting until the end.

The best that California has to offer

American museums are very rich in Diebenkorn’s work, especially on the West Coast, where the artist is often described as “the best that California has produced”.

His value on the art market remains extremely high; in 2012, his Ocean Park #48, painted in 1971, became the most expensive painting painted by the artist with a bid of more than 13.2 million dollars at Christie’s. All of his paintings from his large Ocean Park series sell for exorbitant prices, such as Ocean Park #89, painted in 1975, which sold at Sotheby’s for over $9.68 million.

Recognising Richard Diebenkorn’s signature

Like many artists, Richard Diebenkorn did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

signature expertise Richard DIEBENKORN

Appraise and sell a painting by Richard Diebenkorn

If you own a Richard Diebenkorn painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.