Posted on May 24, 2022Read on

Reflection on Diebenkorn's "Girl at the Beach"

For Richard Diebenkorn’s Girl on the Beach (1957), I am drawn to the painting’s gestures. I find my eyes following the impasto on the skirt to the expressive sand. The beach is a palimpsest of color. The unexpected hues remind me of the bright outlines in Wayne Thiebaud’s candy counters and frosted cakes. The painting is flat but with so much depth. The woman almost hollows out her spot in the center of the canvas. She sits with comfort and confidence, on the ground with her shoes kicked off, but there is a stiffness. She reads. Reading is universal yet ephemeral. You remember the themes, the ideas even if the exact semantics escape you. This translates to paintings. I remember which paintings I’ve seen, but it’s the brushstrokes and subtleties that keep me coming back time and time again.