In 1967 his situation is stabilized. He becomes a professor at the University of California Los Angeles and set up his studio in the Ocean Park district at Santa Monica. He now occupies a room that had been once used by his friend Sam Francis. Inspired by this circumstance he decides to give up the figuration.
His Ocean Park series includes approximately 135 abstract paintings from 1967 to 1985, structured by horizontal and oblique lines that delineate the zones of Californian colors with no overlap. The blue hues of sky and sea are often in opposition.
Ocean Park # 48, oil on canvas 274 x 208 cm painted in 1971, was sold for $ 13.5M including premium by Christie's on November 14, 2012.
On May 17 in New York, Christie's sells Ocean Park # 126, 236 x 206 cm oil on canvas painted in 1984, lot 26 B estimated $ 16M, showing the shimmering sun-filled colors of a Californian mid-day without shadows.
Although the lowest stripe reflects the saturated blue of the sea, # 126 is not a landscape. The two pairs of oblique lines have different vanishing points. A subtle reference to a reality is however provided by a small transparent triangle filled by the blue sky and small white clouds near the top of the image. The sun is a very elongated rectangle close to the upper edge.
SOLD for $ 24M including premium