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Richard Diebenkorn, Touched Red, 1991

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A worktable at the press covered with
Richard Diebenkorn's cut-up working proofs,
photograph by Kathan Brown, Courtesy
Crown Point Press

Diebenkorn routinely cut up working proofs, pasting or pinning them onto others. Touched Red exemplifies this practice: eight cutouts are pasted onto working proof 3; almost thirty are pasted onto working proof 8; and two are pinned to working proof 10. Using this provisional method, Diebenkorn tested possible solutions and registered his next move. For example, he replaced the mushroom-like mass in the upper left in proofs 3 (see banner, above) by pinning a rectangle over it in proof 10; the rectangle was subsequently etched into the plate — permanently, for it appears in the final print (see slideshow, above).

Banner image: Detail, Touched Red (working proof 3), 1991, color aquatint, spitbite aquatint, softground etching, and drypoint with pasted-down elements, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Crown Point Press, 1996, © The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn

Next: Richard Diebenkorn, Green, 1986