Ocean Park #125
Not on view
Oil and charcoal on canvas
Overall: 100 1/16 × 81 1/8in. (254.2 × 206.1 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Charles Simon Purchase Fund, the Painting and Sculpture Committee, and anonymous donors, by exchange
Rights and reproductions
© Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Richard Diebenkorn is best known for the Ocean Park series of landscape abstractions he began in 1967 after moving to Santa Monica, California, where he was inspired by his Ocean Park neighborhood. Numbered sequentially, the Ocean Park paintings are all tall, rectangular canvases, most of them divided by horizontal and vertical lines. Some seem to depict physical elements of landscape—the conjunction of ocean and sky or bands of colored clouds at sunset—while others imply more intangible elements such as space, atmosphere, or light. Diebenkorn’s primary expressive tool is always color, which he used to convey both structure and atmosphere. The monumental scale and large central field of Ocean Park #124 envelop the viewer, much like the paintings of two of Diebenkorn’s early teachers, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. As in many Ocean Park paintings, vestiges of earlier compositional decisions and marks, what Diebenkorn called “crudities,” can be seen beneath washes of color. For Diebenkorn, revealing the process that yielded the finished painting was crucial to the character of the work.