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Berkeley #15

Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley #15, 1954, oil on canvas. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Gift of Gifford and Joann Phillips, 1980 (4565.23P) Photo by Blair Clark. ©The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn

Berkeley #15

Artist: Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922 - 1993)
Date: 1954
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Image: 64 3/16 × 53 1/8 in. (163 × 134.9 cm)
Frame: 65 3/16 × 54 1/4 × 1 15/16 in. (165.6 × 137.8 × 4.9 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Gifford and Joann Phillips, 1980
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 4565.23P
Description
Richard Diebenkorn became one of America's best-known painters of the late twentieth century. After returning from service in World War II, he enrolled in the University of New Mexico to study painting with Raymond Jonson. Diebenkorn developed an expressionist painting style and submitted a series of these abstract paintings for his graduation exhibition. These works did not sit well with most of the art faculty and students, whose outlooks still favored the region's romantic landscapes and exotic portraits. Jonson threatened to resign when the conservative faculty decided not to grant Diebenkorn a master's degree. Although the faculty reconsidered and finally granted the degree, the episode underscored the aesthetic divisions that existed between the traditionalists and the post-war modernists. Diebenkorn painted Berkeley No. 15 after returning to California, and it is representative of the images that Diebenkorn painted during his two years in New Mexico.
Not on view
Publication and Exhibition History: The Gifford and Joann Phillips Collection: November 4 - December 9, 1962. UCLA-Wight Early Abstract Works 1948-1955: March 12 - December 1, 1975 John Berggruen Gallery The California Connection: Sixteen Paintings from the Gifford and Joann Phillips Collection: October 21, 1983 - February 19,1984 University Art Museum, University of New Mexico Paradox: November 2, 1991 -February 1, 1992 Museum of Fine Arts -Museum of New Mexico The Art of Richard Diebenkom: October 9, 1997 - January 19, 1999 Whitney Museum of American Art; Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; The Phillips Collection; San Francisco MOMA