New York

Richard Diebenkorn

M. Knoedler

I overheard a woman at Richard Diebenkorn’s show say to her companion, “Don’t you just love his edges.” The companion apparently did, and so do I. And I love his pentimenti, and his composition, and his sense of color too. Diebenkorn knows, perhaps better than any other living American artist, how to combine paint and canvas to maximum advantage.

But it’s not simply technical proficiency that puts Diebenkorn at the forefront of American painters today. In all great art there is a creative leap from the mechanical to the spiritual, and it’s the size of Diebenkorn’s leap that makes his art so breathtaking. The individual elements of a particular work of art can be dissected, described, traced to their sociological and art historical roots, and analyzed ad infinitum—without ever explaining why that work may move large numbers of people for centuries. In the end the creative process remains a

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