new-york

Wayne Thiebaud, Ripley Ridge, 1977, oil on linen, 48 x 36". © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud

Acquavella Galleries

Wayne Thiebaud, Ripley Ridge, 1977, oil on linen, 48 x 36". © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

This exhibition contained twenty-four paintings—nine 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.

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