Matisse and Diebenkorn: The Time is Now

Craig Meklir Uncategorized

Artists have a reputation for being unappreciated in their time, doomed to a life of meager earnings and anonymity. Only after their deaths do they receive the praise and reverence they so desired from the critics and the masses, their epitaphs reading, “I told you so.” Exactly what they wanted, just a little too late.

Not so for Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) and one of his inspirations, Henri Matisse (1869-1954).

Henri Matisse. Goldfish and Palette. 1915. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / ARS NY

Henri Matisse. Goldfish and Palette. 1915. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / ARS NY

A legend in his own time, the French-born Matisse is best known for his Fauvist-style paintings, but he also sculpted and worked with paper cutouts and drawings. Trained as a lawyer, Matisse saw enough success as an artist in his lifetime to devote most of his energy to studying and practicing his craft.

Abstract expressionist Richard Diebenkorn was born in Oregon and raised in California. The West Coast heavily influenced his depictions of figures and abstractions. Although Diebenkorn made his living primarily as an art teacher, his Ocean Park series of 135 paintings done over 18 years depicting variations of light on the landscape was widely critically acclaimed.

You can see more than 90 paintings and drawings by the two artists at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, through Jan. 29.

Let us know after you check out the exhibit which painting by each artist was your favorite and what you love best about them. And don’t read the reviews — just say what you think. The world needs some new art reviewers!

Open Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; tickets: $17.50 for adults, $15 for seniors 65-plus, $10 for students with valid ID, $7.50 for youths 7-18, and children under 6 and members are free.

Richard Diebenkorn. Ocean Park #79. 1975. Philadelphia Museum of Art. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Richard Diebenkorn. Ocean Park #79. 1975. Philadelphia Museum of Art. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation