Untitled from Drawings portfolio by Richard Diebenkorn

Untitled from Drawings portfolio by Richard Diebenkorn

Untitled from Drawings portfolio

Richard Diebenkorn

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Untitled from Drawings portfolio

original lithograph, printed on a Multilith offset press using flexible plates. See notes in text. 
Image Size
10 3/4 x 8 1/2" image 
pencil, lower right on support 
Edition Size
anticipated 200, fewer printed 
pencil signed on support 
antique-white wove "Dictationbond by Fox River" tipped to a sheet of antique-white wove cartridge paper. 
Eric Ledin, Mill Valley and the artists. 
Inventory ID

This is an impression of a lithograph by a young Richard Diebenkorn from what was a collaborative effort by six artists who were students at the San Francisco Art Institute and exhibited together as the "Sausalito Six". The project was conceived as an effort to raise money to assist the Seashore Gallery of Modern Art in Sausalito.

The artists worked with offset printer Eric Ledin in Mill Valley, drawing on flexible aluminum and paper plates with grease crayon, the composition being printed in the same direction as the drawing. The artists then glued the prints at the corners (or upper section) to a heavier support paper which was then signed in pencil.

Unfortunately a few of the artists used rubber cement to attach the work and they are usually heavily stained and require conservation. They created a black construction paper cover with a title sheet glued on which reads: "Drawings / Dixon / Diebenkorn / Hultberg / Kuhlman / Lobdell / Stillman / Published by Eric T. Ledin Mill Valley Calif."

A few portfolios were done in an edition of 17: 3 each by Diebenkorn, Lobdell and Stillman, 2 each by Dixon and Kuhlman and Hultberg did 4. One of Hultberg's images was allegedly drawn on the plate with butter and the plate broke down after a few impressions were printed. Most portfolios have 16 images.

By the time it was all together the gallery had closed and they proceeded to try to sell the portfolios for $1.00 each. Sales were slight and they finally used the proceeds for a case of Scotch and a party. Most portfolios were broken up, the artists often gifting their prints to friends, and are hard to find complete.

The term for the American movement "Abstract Expressionism"was coined in 1946 by art critic Robert Coates, making this perhaps the first true "Abstract Expressionist" portfolio in the U.S.

Though I personally question this decision, the Diebenkorn estate and Achenbach Foundation curator Karin Breuer sent the gallery the following note in response to our listing: "I've been working with Andrea Liguori at the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in the compilation of a catalogue of Diebenkorn prints. The completed volume(s) will be published by Yale University Press in 2024. For that catalogue, we did not include the Drawings portfolio works as original prints. They are instead listed as:

Three offset lithographs tipped to mounts in a portfolio of seventeen works by six artists. Paper type is listed as manufactured drawing paper. Edition: 200 portfolios. Each of the three prints inside is listed as 'offset lithograph'."


Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.