Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Works 1983–2010
English / German
The British artist Bridget Riley is one of the key figures in Op Art. Her optically dynamic paintings address the issue of seeing itself. Back in the 1960s, the optical effects of her black-and-white pictures created quite a stir: today they are seen as emblematic of that era. In her essay “Work” (2009), she makes the finely tuned development from her earlier monochrome paintings to today’s colorful pictures very comprehensible: “The challenge of color had to be met on its own terms. Just as I had enquired earlier into the square and other geometric forms freed from their conceptual roles, I now felt I had to enquire into color as another pictorial player—in many ways the least emancipated and possibly the most complex of all.” In the process of creating her powerful stripes and rhombuses, Riley first of all focused on effects that emerged through color contrasts. Later, she found a new form for her color works in the combination of verticals and diagonals, to which she started adding vertical curves and waves by the end of the 1990s.
In addition to Riley’s vividly written and richly illustrated essay, this publication also shows her aesthetic development from the 1980s until now in large-format plates, and an interview with Lynne Cook provides more fascinating insight into her way of working. Bridget Riley’s involvement in topics ranging from Matisse’s cut-outs through Bruce Nauman’s video work to traditional Chinese scrolls emphasizes the extent to which she has immersed herself in the possibilities of abstraction.