A forceful quality in art, truly representative of our modern situation, will rise above the labels of abstraction and realism. –Richard Diebenkorn A man sits alone in a café stirring his coffee as if lost in thought. But the figure is only one of the painting’s subjects. The other is the carefully balanced and richly colored shapes on the canvas surface and the striking effects of the light falling on the figure from the electric bulbs above. Together, Richard Diebenkorn’s subjects push beyond the limits of both representation and abstraction. They depict a moment when everyday details give rise to extraordinary insights.



  • Title: Coffee
  • Creator: Richard Diebenkorn
  • Date Created: 1956
  • Physical Dimensions: 67 x 58 3/4 in. (170.2 x 149.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Provenance: The artist; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. to the Chrysler Museum, 1971.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Richard Diebenkorn courtesy Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, N.Y.
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

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