SJSU Photography Faculty Exhibition

A special opportunity to view recent works by current faculty in the Photography area within the School of Art and Design, this exhibition will feature a wide range of media, style, and technique. Showcasing a divergent group of artists who share an interest in working with photographic media and a devotion to teaching, this exhibition is both provocative and stimulating, revealing a variety of conceptual emphases, aesthetics, and creative solutions to formalistic issues of value, tone, and composition. Participants include:


Each of these artists individually has received noteworthy acclaim for their works. As a group, they combine significant successes in regional, national, and international exhibitions, public art projects, and museum collections, as well as numerous grants and awards. We are delighted to have this opportunity to feature their thoughtfulness, creativity, and vision in this special display.

The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949 – 1992

March 18 – May 16, 2014

Richard Clifford Diebenkorn, Jr. was born in 1922 in Portland, Oregon, relocating with
his family to San Francisco two years later. After local schooling, he entered Stanford University in 1940, where he concentrated on studio art and art history. There, he moved on from an early interest in American artists such as Arthur Dove and Edward Hopper
—after a visit to the home of Gertrude Stein’s sister-in-law—to the work of European Modernists including Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse. After military duty, Diebenkorn entered the California School of Fine Arts on the G.I. Bill, where he met serious contemporaries who would become lifelong friends and artistic colleagues. He also, at that time, met the slightly older David Park, who would have an especially important influence on the younger artist’s work.

After an early focus on abstractions, influenced in great part by his meeting with Franz Kline, in late 1955 Dienbenkorn suddenly veered to a representational mode, focusing
on landscapes, figures studies, and still lifes. With friends Park, Elmer Bischoff, and later Frank Lobdell, he regularly worked from the model; the figurative and landscape works of the period 1956-1967 were instrumental in attracting a wider audience to his work. In 1966 he and his family moved to southern California; within several months of beginning work in his Ocean Park neighborhood studio, he had left figuration behind, and developed a unique abstract language that secured his stature as an American master. The Diebenkorns moved back to northern California in 1988, and he died in his home in Berkeley in 1993.

The first show to be produced by The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, this exhibition
of approximately forty works on paper provides a richly intimate glimpse into the artist’s evolution over a period of more than forty years. Andrea Ligouri, managing director of the Foundation and director of research and associate editor of the Richard Diebenkorn catalogue raisonné, has commented, “This is a body of work that…represents the process of an artist in a very private way.” This exhibition was curated by Chester Arnold, artist and chair of the Fine Arts Department of the College of Marin, and was particularly selected with a student audience in mind, as it reveals how Diebenkorn used materials and subject matter typically found in beginning art classes – including pen and ink, graphite, and newsprint, which were used to create a range of works, from abstractions to drawings from the model – and, as such, these small works help to demystify the process of making art. Much of the work included in The Intimate Diebenkorn was generally unseen and unknown to the public until the publication of two complementary books last year. All works are loaned to the Thompson Gallery courtesy The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

In conjunction with the opening of this exhibition, Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, the artist’s daughter, will present an illustrated lecture on her father’s work from 5 – 6 pm in Art #133. This presentation and the following opening reception are free and open to the public.

Hardcover Book Documenting the Past 100 Years

Now Available for Purchase

It is as important to mark rites of passage for institutions as for individuals. In each case, stopping to observe a transitional moment has particular importance amidst the crush of what has become the new “normal” of our busy daily lives: it motivates us to celebrate growth, honor milestones, or commemorate passings. And, by so doing, it inspires us to take stock, to note the challenges and the successes, the drawbacks and the rewards. It reminds us to take a breath and look back from where we have come, appreciate where we are now, and look forward to what lies ahead.

Featuring 160 color reproductions and black-and-white photographs, the new book Creativity, Change, Commitment: A Celebration of 100 Years of The Department of Art provides a broad history of the Department of Art, and includes images by or narratives about dozens of alumni, as well as faculty, staff, and programs. This splendidly designed 280-page hard cover was produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery at SJSU. Catalog contributors include Jo Farb Hernández, director/curator of the Thompson Gallery, as well as texts written by three distinguished art history alumni. Together they have created the most comprehensive history of the Department that has yet been formulated.

Retail price: $30 SJSU faculty, students, staff, alumni; $50 general public; $8 S+H; discounts for bulk orders, libraries, or nonprofit organizations upon request.  

Checks only to: Thompson Art Gallery, Department of Art and Art History, San José State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0089. For further information contact Jo Farb Hernández at