Support: Wove paper
Sheet: 108.1 x 67.8 cm (42 9/16 x 26 11/16 in.); Image: 102.6 x 62.9 cm (40 3/8 x 24 3/4 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1998.111
© The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Catalogue raisonné: Nordland 22
After moving to southern California and setting up a studio in a section of Santa Monica called Ocean Park, Diebenkorn concentrated on a series inspired by his new locale. Although the works may allude to landscape, the artist's main concern was with the formal elements of pictorial composition: color, drawing, surface, and suggested light and space. Blue is built on an underlying vertical and horizontal structure, but its strict geometry is softened by the irregular bright yellow strip at the right edge of the sheet and by the pentimenti (or changes) that document the artist's process of correcting and reworking the image. Blue was the result of a new printmaking venture in a Japanese studio, where American artists could make woodblock prints. Diebenkorn worked there with Japanese craftsmen who helped translate his drawing into the woodblock medium. Their incredible skill made it possible to achieve this print's rich dense layers of sensual color.
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