Jun 5, 2008

Be an Art Critic ... Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn, Urbana #4, 1953
Oil on canvas, 66 ½” x 49 ½”

We want to hear from you! What do you think of this abstract painting from the Fine Arts Center's permanent collection? You don’t have to be an art expert, just share your opinion … and come back to see what other viewers have to say! Post your comments below.


Brian Hicks said...

Well, I guess I'll kick things off!

I can see two different images in the piece. First, a desk with books and oil paints. Second (turn your head to the side) a beach scene. I'm not going to pretend to be an 'expert' here, and for that reason I'm going to be blunt: I don't get the black smear on the top half. It seems like it would have been better to put more greens in there. If it's meant to be a beach scene I guess I could see it being a towel. Even if it's not meant to be anything, though, I'd say y'all are hanging it sideways! :P

fourmonthplanner said...

I've always thought this painting depicted an aerial view of a double kitchen sink ... on the left side you do the washing and on the right side the drying.

Anonymous said...

I can see the influence of Matisse in this painting what with the bright colors and the use of flat shapes and controlled lines. The painting seems to be more about expression rather than detail.

Kay Kohl said...

I think it's beautiful because of its contrasts. The unrecognizable subject matter, for me, makes it especially intriguing. The title (Urbana #4) at first made me think of a city, or an urban scene. But it's generally accepted that the title refers to a time period that the artist spent teaching at the University of Illinois main campus at Urbana-Champaign in 1952. The painting makes me feel (rather than see) cold/hot, dark/light, flat/flowing, solid/smeared, opaque/translucent. It's a fascinating painting; even more so when viewed in person.

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