Diebenkorn (Shape Motifs and Integration)

Richard Diebenkorn - Large Still Life - 1966 - 164 x 178 cm - 64 x 70 in - oil on canvas

This painting has a great example of integration.  Diebenkorn provides a very sensitive integration, where the vertical line on the table connects to the circle in the blue area.  Note how the circle also integrates with a white rectangle on the table.  I’m delighted with how he guides me through the composition.

This brings us to shape motifs, which I feel Diebenkorn had mastered.  The primary motif of this composition is the rectangle supported by circular sub motifs.  By using three rectangles he quickly engages the whole area with the viewer.  If you don’t see them you will feel them for we take in shapes before subject matter.

He integrates the circles in the blue rectangle beautifully, with the shapes of the cup’s top and it’s shadow.

I love the pull in this painting, which is the ink bottle.  I feel it’s just right.  The viewer is pulled to the lower part of the painting then returns to the focal area.  I say the area, for he has left for us to decide if the cup, the circle, or the red dot, is the focus.  This level of sophistication is what we artists should strive for.

Remember there are no rules or formula other than knowledge and level of consideration as Diebenkorn has conveyed beautifully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *