Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922–1993) held a lifelong interest in printmaking that began with experiments he made as a student at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), and he maintained a steady output of prints from the 1960s until his death. A group of 160 prints acquired by the Fine Arts Museums in 2014 includes examples from this thirty-year period and demonstrates Diebenkorn’s intense engagement with printmaking processes, particularly etching. Selections from the acquisition compose this exhibition, which provides an overview of Diebenkorn’s accomplishments in this medium and introduces unpublished prints and proofs for prints that were not issued in editions.
The Museums have presented several small-focus exhibitions of Diebenkorn’s prints over the years, each featuring selections from the permanent collection: Blue Surround: The Evolution of a Print (1994); Richard Diebenkorn: 41 Etchings Drypoints (1999); Richard Diebenkorn: Clubs and Spades (2002); and, most recently, Richard Diebenkorn: The Stanford Monotypes, A Recent Acquisition (2009). This new exhibition celebrates the Museums’ latest significant acquisition of his prints, made possible by the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions and the generosity of Phyllis Diebenkorn.