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Berkeley #15
Date: 1954
Artist: Richard Diebenkorn
American, 1922 - 1993
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)
Medium: oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Gifford and Joann Phillips, 1980
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.
Object Number: 4565.23P

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