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Richard Diebenkorn – An Artist’s Dwelling (10)

Richard Clifford Diebenkorn Jr. was born on April 22, 1922 in Portland, Oregon. His birth helped to “Keep Portland Weird” as they say. His family moved to San Francisco, California, when he was two years old. He was a wunderkind and was continually drawing from the age of four onward. He worked in hippie-dippie, liberal and idealistic locales ranging from New York City, Woodstock, New York to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Urbana, Illinois and Berkeley, California. Diebenkorn served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 until 1945 but was stationed in Virginia and Hawaii during those years. His “wartime” work was comprised of vaguely humorous, dark charcoal sketches. He used the time he had while stationed to tour important museum collections and to internalize favorite traits and styles of artists such as Hopper, Matisse, and Gorky.

Richard Diebenkorn in Studio

Via.

 Richard Diebenkorn in his studio by Manitoba Museum of Finds Art

Richard Diebenkorn in his studio by Manitoba Museum of Finds Art
Richard Diebenkorn Negatives or Polaroids
The many emotions, phases and figurative positioning of Richard Diebenkorn via Eye-Likey.

Once the war was over, he moved back West and came to define the California school of Abstract Expressionism of the early 1950s. The field of art was only just “invented” in the 1940’s, in New York City and was still a burgeoning field. Interestingly, for a modern artist, Diebenkorn embraced art’s academic institution, both as a student and teacher, holding numerous professorships all over the Midwest and West Coast. He even studied under the G.I. Bill.

In 2008, when the Obamas first were looking to update the storied White House art collection to include modern art and work by minorities and women, they approached The National Gallery of Art.  A large-scale painting by Diebenkorn titled “Berkeley No. 52” was in the mix.

A painting from Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series.

A painting from Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series is in this neutral master suite. The interior designer, Douglas Durkin reinvented this San Francisco apartment and allowed it to be dictated by the art: “The interior design is about serving the collection.” Image via Architectural Digest.

Sheila Bridges in Elle DecorA Victorian townhouse  in New York City gets a museum worth update by Sheila Bridges. Artwork in the living room includes, from left, a photo by Mark Heithoff and prints by Richard Diebenkorn and Sonia Delaunay; the zebrawood cocktail table has a stainless-steel base.Image via Elle Decor.

Untitled work by Richard Diebenkorn. Photography by Scott Frances

Playing with architectural right angles, this many-rectangled room features an untitled work by Richard Diebenkorn. Photography by Scott Frances. Image via Architectural Digest.

Room & Board - Diebenkorn

Abstract artist Richard Diebenkorn’s work was an exploration of form, color and poetic metaphor. He combined landscape influence, aerial perspective, and a private, calligraphic language into a dynamic style that engages and excites the viewer. Framed Diebenkorn work “Ocean Park 116”, 1979 via Room & Board.

Ocean Park Series 23, Diebenkorn

Patsy Tarr in front of ‘Ocean Park Series 23’ by Richard Diebenkorn in the living room. The bronze coffee table is by Alberto Giacometti. I’ll take one of each please! Image via New York Social Diary.

Diebenkorn’s compositional strengths gather around distinct, sensually drawn lines. Many of his series feature overlapping, translucent and scraped colors and paint. A process that is discernible to both artist and viewer. Leaving one to wonder what exactly is underneath each layer. It’s hard to describe the artist’s breadth of work the artist created – they are both muted and bright, mechanical and organic, representational and abstract. Some are small, claustrophobic and intimate, others grid-like and huge, echoing with emotion. Regardless of style, his works are powerful investigations between the interaction of space, landscapes, color and light. All somehow yearning and lonely, hearkening on the confusion of a single atom in a large universe.

Richard Diebenkorn in his studio at Main Street and Ashland Avenue in Santa Monica, ca. 1970–71. Photo by Richard Grant. Courtesy of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Richard Grant

Richard Diebenkorn in his studio at Main Street and Ashland Avenue in Santa Monica, ca. 1970–71. Photo by Richard Grant. Image from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Richard Grant.

Diebenkorn c. 1980's

Diebenkorn c. 1980’s via Eye-Likey.

Diebenkorn by Lyon

Richard Diebenkorn  by Fred Lyon, 1958. Image via 1stdibs, here.

Richard Diebenkorn

The “Ocean Park” Series Via Lisa Call.

Over the years his palette changes: flesh tones and grays are replaced by kitten-tongue pinks and blues, and then by deeper and darker contrasts of yellow, poppy orange and grass green. “The idea is to get everything right—it’s not just color or form or space or line—it’s everything all at once.” —Richard Diebenkorn

How can you live inside the whitewashed, soft pastel, multifaceted, and transient world of Richard Diebenkorn? Take heed:

Diebenkorn_InteriorDesign

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

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The Fat Radish

Situated in a location that’s a little off the beaten track in the Lower East Side, the restaurant is surrounded by shops that flip their sign to “closed” early in the day.  The hidden location doesn’t seem to deter any of the food aficionados and long-haired men in clever button downs and Sergeant Pepper blazers.

The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

“What do I know of man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” – Samuel Beckett

Part of the “No Farm, No Food” – locavore movement, the Fat Radish describes itself as, “… a simple, elegant and airy room that still retains the industrial feel of London’s original Covent Garden marketplace. The cuisine does not fall into one particular category but rather returns to a way of eating before food was constantly classified. The menu is bound by one philosophy , simple, healthy, delicious dishes created with well-sourced, seasonal ingredients.” The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Nothing says ‘classy’ quite like a branded trucker hat. The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Fat Radish Silkstone

Silkstone, a creative agency in New York City, designed the restaurants slightly dilapidated but clever decor. When the owners began creating the restaurant in 2010 they were faced with a challenge – how do you a turn an old Lower East Side building (that was formally a sausage factory) into a light and airy dining space? Sourcing the right materials was of utmost importance. With 1970s Covent Garden as an inspiration, the team used old barn wood, unique light fixtures, and renovated the original brick floors, achieving the goal of making the space feel open and light. Along with the challenge of the dining space, there was also the challenge of the kitchen; with no kitchen space existing, a full build out of one was necessary. The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

The eponymous radish table plate, rather than the usual crusty bread offering.The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Scotch Egg, cornichons, seeded mustard. The Fat Radish

Celery root pot pie, black garlic, gruyere cheese.

   The Fat Radish - Grilled Cheese

The Fat Radish

Kale Caesar Salad, Anchovy, Croutons, Bacon and Egg by candlelight.

The Fat Radish

The dessert menu…

The Fat Radish

Petite pot du creme.

The Fat Radish

My favorite aspect of the restaurant, as is with my entire life, a toss up between the food or the decor. Woody, rustic and comfortable with some Chinese graffiti (to pay tribute to its location) has me feeling as if I’m about to eat at an in-law’s quaint yet modern country home. The ambiance  is really lovely, and something I would like to replicate.

Sam Sifton from the New York Times puts it best, “The Fat Radish is a pleasant and pleasing restaurant for all this, however: a handsome young golden Labrador, camera-ready, hard not to like. To sit in its dining room as light plays off the huge mirror in back, candles flickering everywhere, eating rillettes and drinking wine, is to experience a small part of the New York that leads people here inexorably and always will.”

FatRadish Inspired Industrial Decor

1. Industrial Pendants – A run of larger 1940/50’s British industrial pendant lights by Maxlume, salvaged from a factory in the north of England. Cast aluminium with thick domed glass diffusers. We’ve left these lights in the original green paintwork, simply beeswaxing them to bring out the patina. Large runs of British industrial lighting like this a an increasing rarity.

2. Ayers Skull & Bones Decanter by Ralph Lauren Home. Feeling sinister? How about I mix you up some arsenic and old lace…

3. Candela Cube by Sonia Lartigue, 2010 from the Museum of Modern Art Design Store. This table lamp is made using traditional Mexican craft techniques. When lit, the mirrors create beautiful, geometric optical effects. Handmade. Requires one incandescent 25W bulb (bulb not included).

4. Sturdy and tough industrial table by Woodland Imports.

5.  Pewter Stoneware Large Covered Casserole Dish by Juliska.

6. Greengage Wall Clock – Quirky as the British industrial example that inspired it, this weathered wall clock will add good-natured gravitas to your kitchen or family room. Gracious green laminated face with metal hands. Quartz movement.

7. Bring home the elegance of French-inspired cutlery with this LeBrun Laguiole Ivory style set.

8. The silver, metallic stool is built of beautiful elm wood reclaimed from buildings and furniture pieces that graced the eclectic Qing dynasty. The piece is meticulously hand built and finished by time-honored craftsman utilizing over 120 different processes, by Madera Home Furniture.

What restaurant would you choose to live in?

 

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My Engagement!

On October 20, 2012 Michael secretly planned to propose to Keren (me) in an art gallery in Chelsea, NYC.  He wanted to celebrate my love of art and our many memories walking through museums and exhibitions together. Mike and I first moved into an apartment together almost two years ago, and our apartment felt like a home once we began collecting art. I also have vivid memories of our many vacations and the museums in cities we visited – learning about Surrealism at the Vancouver Art Gallery! Learning about the Medici’s at the Musée Maillol in Paris! Watching performance art at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid! We live and explore each other through cultural experience.

Yolanda Sanchez, Wherever you are is Called Here, 2012

Yolanda Sanchez, Wherever you are is Called Here, 2012. Oil on canvas, 48 x 96 in.

Yolanda Sanchez, The Absent Mirror, 2012

Yolanda Sanchez, The Absent Mirror, 2012. Oil on canvas, 52 x 42 in.

None of the galleries would allow Michael to rent their space. Some would not allow food near the canvases and others did not have the date available. Feeling dismayed, Mike vented to his local tailor and stylist Casey Bickley, from Michael Andrews Bespoke, during a pants hemming.

What kismet! Casey knew of a fellow whose mom owned a gallery and pulled some strings. Kathryn Markel Fine Arts agreed to the surprise. With the help of Alex, one of my fiance’s best friends from undergrad, Michael bought easels and interspersed pictures of Keren and Michael’s travels between the original paintings by Yolanda Sanchez, whose work was showing at the time.

Keren thought she was going to a work event until Michael started getting irrationally nervous. Michael sweated through his shirt and had to change before the event. He also could not even answer the most basic questions relating to the work event, “where is the event?”; “who is hosting the evening?” She knew something was up only moments before the big reveal when Michael started shaking (erratically) in the elevator. It was endearing.

Walking into the pristine, white space, Keren noticed that the entire room was empty and filled with photos of the couple. It took me a few moments to make sense of the scene – for a split second she thought that the artist had created an exhibition about her! Michael got down on one knee (uttered a beautifully prepared speech) and proposed surrounded by paintings by Sanchez for her work Meditations on the Between (press release can be found here). Thank goodness I was wearing something vaguely fancy and had recently been convinced to get a manicure! Had I known about the surprise, I probably would have dressed a wee bit differently, knowing how many photos I was about to be thrust into!

Mike and Keren Wedding Watercolor

Here’s a watercolor of Michael and me created by Danny Brito!

Keren and Mike at the Engagement Party

Yes, my sister did make us wear these ridiculous t-shirts! At least black is slimmimg!

Keren & Mike are Engaged!

The newly engaged couple!

Keren, Shari and Mom (Amy)

Keren, Moshe (Dad), Jesse, Maryanne and Roger

Keren, Shari and Mike

Michael had one more trick up his sleeve. Family and friends from Boston,Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. came in for the event. Surrounded by loved ones, a small gathering followed. Knowing my love of cheese platters and grape leaves, he also had catering from Zabar’s. Very New York!

Sanchez  writes of her work and mission statement, “My work is a gathering of my awareness of being and my experiences of moving with and living among other beings, places and things.   It is my desire to become a more ‘finely tuned observer’ and to live more in the moment.  Making art for me is a way of being present in the world; it is an act of attention.  And through this attention, I give back and offer praise to the world.  As such, my work is celebratory, expanding, opening, and about offering pleasure.”  Her art will forever hold a special place in my heart, I got engaged in front of her ethereal, bright and colorful paintings. Her canvases are dripping (literally) with emotions and sensations. As Wesley Grissom from Arbus Magazine writes, “Yolanda Sánchez is a figurative gardener. She doesn’t grow fruits, vegetables or flowers outside her Miami Beach home. Instead, the artist imbues vitality into allegorical gardens on canvas inside her studio.Brilliant blooms of pigment burst from her abstract paintings like clumps of crape myrtle blossoms tangled with verdurous sweet potato vines.”

Yolanda Sanchez, What was said to the Rose (That Made it Open), 2012

Yolanda Sanchez, What was said to the Rose (That Made it Open), 2012. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in.

Sanchez was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1960. She obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1979. Later she acquired her BFA and subsequently, an MFA from Yale University, where she studied with the British painter, John Walker. Yolanda is a Fulbright scholar.

The artist explains, “There is no story to be told, just simply a desire to awaken. My work, in general, is a search for re-enchantment, for a way to reach below the surface of things, to find that point of connection with life. ” How apropos because, on October 20, 2012, the day I became engaged to my soul-mate, an entire world awakened to celebrate my personal point of connection, my fiance.  Her subjective and explosive canvases are filled with pregnant thoughts, what-ifs, dreams, and promises. Each stroke a possibility.

Yolanda Sanchez, Midsummer Magic, 2012 Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. (121.9 x 121.9 cm)

Yolanda Sanchez, Wanderings #1, 2012. Oil on canvas, 41 x 29 in.

Yolanda Sanchez, Wanderings #1, 2012 Oil on canvas, 41 x 29 in. (104.1 x 73.7 cm)

Yolanda Sanchez, Wanderings #2, 2012. Oil on canvas, 41 x 29 in.

Michael worked with a jewelry designer in Boston, MA to reset the diamond that is a family heirloom from Morocco in the 1880’s. The diamond has been worn by four women prior to me, including Michael’s mother. This history and character is incredibly important to me. At one point the diamond was a pair of earrings, then later a solitaire ring.  The stone is a brilliant, round cut. My wonderful engagement ring has a rounded, square halo of smaller diamonds surrounding the center stone. It is art deco inspired. Not all halo rings are created equal. In order to achieve the halo look, most designs use inner metal prongs to hold the diamonds. Another option is to cut, groove, or notch the diamonds to fit together.

Rounded, Square Halo Engagement Ring. Rounded, Square Halo Engagement Ring.

Halos and cluster rings have been around since before the Victorian age. Famously, Princess Diana had one decades ago! 

My proposal was quite literally a “work of art!” Now off to plan my wedding…