HAving experienced the Matisse-Diebenkorn exhibit at SFMoMA, I can say I'm a fan. I'm not big into Diebenkorn, though I appreciate him on several levels, and I really tend towards dislike of Matisse, but the combination played so perfectly off one another, and it exposed Diebenkorn in a way that I absolutely appreciated.
The work currently hanging at the Anderson that I have the most love for is Ocean Park #60 and it is a wonderful work. Not a color field painting, though certainly influenced by Motherwell and Rothko, and not a minimalist painting, and it almost feels like a Mondrian painting executed freehand. It is the colors, the marine sensation, the fact I feel as if I am being washed over, that takes me. The Ocean Park paintings in the SFMoMA exhibition are wonderful, and at least somewhat interchangeable, but this one, this one feels different, as if Diebenkorn was working out something. This was a middle work in the long series of Ocean Park paintings, but it not only feels as if it is a part of a fully-formed definition of the series, but it feels as if it is breaking away, giving us something both more and less meaningful to the entirety of the series. The firm geometric encounter is powerful, but it is left with a hazy feeling, and one that made me look deeper into it, to find where the perfection gave way to the sfumato. There is no point, both exist, quantum-entangled, waiting for a viewer to make the decision whether or not the method to Diebenkorn's madness is alive or dead. To me, it is the Ocean Park series that is alive, and the definitions of how Diebenkorn's work that die with this piece, and it does both of them at the same time.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.