Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) was born in Portland, Oregon and spent most of his life in California. He attended Stanford University for a time and then served in the Marine Corps during World War II. After the war, Diebenkorn continued his education at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). He received his MFA from the University of New Mexico, and was a member of the faculty at several schools, including CSFA, UCLA, Stanford, and the University of Illinois.
Profoundly influenced by the work of Henri Matisse, he traveled to New York, LA, and Russia to see Matisse exhibitions. Diebenkorn's Berkeley years are considered very important formative years as he worked through a representational and figurative phase that led him back to Abstract Expressionism. He is well-known for his role in the Bay Area Figurative Movement. His Ocean Park" work is considered his best known collection of approximately 135 paintings completed in the community by the same name in Santa Monica where his studio was located.