This exhibition contained twenty-four paintingsnine by Richard Diebenkorn and fifteen by Wayne Thiebaud (the two were lifelong friends)all ostensibly engaging particular places in California. Berkeley appeared in four of Diebenkorn’s works (Berkeley #21, 1954; Berkeley #39 and Berkeley #44, both 1955; and Driveway, 1956), as did Ocean Park, an area of Santa Monica (Ocean Park #40, 1971). But, as Thiebaud’s nameless places, among them Urban Freeways, 1979, and Fields and Furrows, 2002, made clear, these images could be almost anywhere that there are big cities and rural areas. The compositions were all unpopulated, with the exception of Thiebaud’s Tidelines, 2004–14, where a row of five tiny figures and their shadows function as aborted repoussoir devices, hesitantly accenting the flat strip of white beach on which they stand, and generalized to the point of anonymity.
Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.
Not registered for artforum.com?
SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*
* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.