Exhibition

Matisse/Diebenkorn

March 11–May 29, 2017

Floor 4

Presenting a new view of two of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary painters, Matisse/Diebenkorn is the first major exhibition to explore the profound inspiration Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) found in the work of Henri Matisse (1869–1954). It brings together 100 seminal paintings and drawings—40 by Matisse and 60 by Diebenkorn—that reveal the connections between the two artists in subject, style, color, and technique.

The exhibition unfolds across the arc of Diebenkorn’s career—from early abstractions, through his Bay Area figurative years, to his majestic Ocean Park series—all in direct dialogue with works that he knew and admired by Matisse. Diebenkorn grew up in San Francisco, and first discovered Matisse as a Stanford University art student in the early 1940s. Over the next four decades, he pursued a serious study of the great French modernist’s work, drawing from his example to forge a style entirely his own.

Matisse/Diebenkorn is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art.

The Presenting Sponsor is the Evelyn D. Haas Exhibition Fund.

Evelyn Haas Exhibition Fund

The Major Sponsors are Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Bank of America, Doris Fisher, The Henry Luce Foundation, Susan and Bill Oberndorf, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Bank of America, Henry Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art

Generous support is provided by Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding, Roberta and Steve Denning, Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Mary J. Elmore, Dana and Bob Emery, Concepción and Irwin Federman, John H. N. Fisher and Jennifer Caldwell, Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Family, the Elaine McKeon Endowed Exhibition Fund, Deborah and Kenneth Novack, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund, the Prospect Creek Foundation, Morgan and Tatem Read, Arun and Rummi Sarin, Lydia Shorenstein, Ken and Judy Siebel, Susan and Jim Swartz, Thomas W. Weisel and Janet Barnes, Bobbie and Mike Wilsey, Shannon and Dennis Wong, and Kay Harrigan Woods. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bank of America, Henry Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art

Additional support is provided by Dolly and George Chammas.

Entry to this special exhibition is surcharged for visitors 19 years old and over, and includes general admission. Admission for visitors 18 and under is always free.


Members may reserve a limited number of free tickets: 8 for Individual, 16 for Dual and above.


Member Preview Days are Thursday, March 9, 2017, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Friday, March 10, 2017, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Exhibition Preview

  • Artwork images, Matisse The Blue Window and Diebenkorn Woman on a Porch

    Left: Henri Matisse, The Blue Window, 1913; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: digital image; © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY
    Right: Richard Diebenkorn, Woman on a Porch, 1958; New Orleans Museum of Art, museum purchase through the National Endowment for the Arts Matching Grant; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Artwork images, Matisse Studio and Diebenkorn Urbana #4

    Left: Henri Matisse, Studio, Quai Saint-Michel, 1916; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Right: Richard Diebenkorn, Urbana #4, 1953; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, gift of Julianne Kemper Gilliam; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Artwork images, Matisse Late Afternoon and Diebenkorn Ingleside

    Left: Henri Matisse, Notre-Dame, A Late Afternoon, 1902; collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Right: Richard Diebenkorn, Ingleside, 1963; Grand Rapids Art Museum, museum purchase; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation


  • Artwork images, Matisse Goldfish and Palette and Diebenkorn Urbana #6

    Left: Henri Matisse, Goldfish and Palette, 1914; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift and bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Right: Richard Diebenkorn, Urbana #6, 1953; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, museum purchase, Sid W. Richardson Foundation Endowment Fund; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Artwork images, Matisse Femme au Chapeau and Diebenkorn Seated Figure with Hat

    Left: Henri Matisse, Femme au chapeau (Woman with a Hat), 1905; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Right: Richard Diebenkorn, Seated Figure with Hat, 1967; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, gift of the Collectors Committee and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Rubin; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Artwork images, Matisse View of Notre Dame and Diebenkorn Ocean Park #79

    Left: Henri Matisse, View of Notre Dame, 1914; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired though the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest and the Henry Ittleson, A. Conger Goodyear, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sinclair Funds, and the Anna Erickson Levene Bequest given in memory of her husband, Dr. Phoebus Aaron Theodor Levene; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Right: Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #79, 1975; Philadelphia Museum of Art, purchased with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and with funds contributed by private donors; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

  • Artwork image, Richard Diebenkorn's Seated Woman

    Richard Diebenkorn, Seated Woman, 1967; collection of Gretchen and John Berggruen; © the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Exhibition Catalogue

Featuring stunning pairings of more than 80 paintings and drawings, this book charts the evolution of Matisse’s impact on Diebenkorn over the course of Diebenkorn’s career. Texts by exhibition curators Janet Bishop and Katherine Rothkopf are rounded out by an introduction by John Elderfield, an essay on Diebenkorn’s drawings by Jodi Roberts, and a bibliography documenting Diebenkorn’s collection of books about the French artist. Published by SFMOMA and the Baltimore Museum of Art in association with DelMonico Books/Prestel.