Richard Diebenkorn was SFAI’s first Visiting Artist, and he became a major force in the establishment of SFAI, helping to attract both students and other Visiting Artists, among whom are such renowned contemporary artists as John Baldessari, Elizabeth Murray, Susan Rothenberg, Donald Sultan, and Joel-Peter Witkin.
Richard Diebenkorn was a Master Artist in Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute in 1985 & 1986. During his time at SFAI, Diebenkorn conducted painting workshops/master classes with selected students/artists.
Richard Diebenkorn grew up in San Francisco and attended Stanford University, and later the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). Although well established as an abstract painter, Diebenkorn returned to figuration in the mid-1950s. He incorporated the dominant expressive painting style into representational canvases, often landscapes.
In 1966, he moved to Santa Monica and returned to quasi-geometric abstraction, though his work continued to evoke the landscape and the hazy coastal light of Southern California. Like his earlier works, Diebenkorn’s later abstractions allow the accumulated drawn and painted traces of his painstaking process to remain visible.
In 1988, he returned to live in Northern California, where failing health forced him to concentrate on small-scale works until his death five years later.