There is a long long long history of paintings about women reading. From Fragonard to Picasso, it's a subject that never seems to get old. Here, Richard Diebenkorn takes on the subject in, perhaps, the most California way possible, by setting our bookworm at the beach, shoes kicked off, her butt directly in the sand instead of on the chair at her elbow.
I always have problems with artists who turn from Abstract Expressionism. In 1955 or so, Diebenkorn moved away from his AbEx work into a more figurative, comparatively literalist, period. While his color palette is still not natural, and his brushstrokes show like Van Gogh and Monet before him, he is representing something in a way that expresses a situation, a scenario. This is a traditional subject painted in a semi-traditional way within a non-traditional tone expression. That makes this work a wonder to behold!
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.