Richard Diebenkorn (2)

The question asked at tonight’s private view was why it is that an artist who is so well represented in American collections (he currently has an early work hanging in the White House) should be so ill represented in British collections (one print in the Tate).   The answer is that our view of American art is refracted through the New York galleries, who preferred the work of first generation Abstract Expressionists;  and that the work is in short supply because it was bought early by Californian collectors, so that when Nick Serota and Richard Morphet went in search of good examples in the early 1990s, it was either not available or too expensive.


3 thoughts on “Richard Diebenkorn (2)

  1. Leslie Bacon says:

    I remember the art scene of the 1970’s in California… there was a very distinct whiff of snobbery and competitiveness between New York and the West Coast. New Yorkers hated the idea that the art scene had moved, or morphed, into LA/SF scene – and just wouldn’t accept it. Yes, all to the benefit of California collectors — including me (on a very small scale).

    • Dear Leslie, Yes, that’s a good description of what seems to have been the issue. Someone said that New Yorkers preferred darkness in art works and drama in artists’ lives, whereas Diebenkorn was relatively sunny by temperament and in his work. Charles

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