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Bridget Riley: Paintings 1984–2020
Texte Éric de Chassey, Robert Kudielka


Englisch Hardcover

24 x 30 cm

78 Seiten

41 Farbabbildungen

978-3-947127-25-2

35,00 Euro


Durch das Buch blättern


 

Bridget Rileys Kunst speist sich aus dem Interesse der Künstlerin an Formen und Farben der Malereigeschichte, die sie von ihrer ursprünglichen Darstellungsfunktion trennt und so neue Klänge und Bedeutungen findet. Mit jeder Bildserie fügt sie ihrem Werk etwas hinzu – und in diesem Buch, bereits ihrem fünften bei Holzwarth Publications, begegnen wir den jüngsten Ergebnissen: Da sind die Intervals, bei denen sie breite horizontale Streifen in vergrauten Grün-, Violett-, Orange- und Türkistönen auf weißem Grund übereinander stellt. Die Anordnung folgt keiner mathematischen Regel: „Wenn klar geworden ist, dass es kein festes Prinzip hinter den Permutationen gibt“, schreibt Éric de Chassey in seinem Essay, „können sich Geist und Auge auf die Harmonie des Gesamtbildes einlassen, die durch den Rhythmus der Veränderungen einzelner Elemente entsteht“. Bilder der Serie Measure for Measure sind in ähnlichen Tönen gehalten, aber durch die Komposition in farbigen Kreisen haben sie einen luftigen, schwebenden Charakter, jede Farbe wirkt auch für sich allein. Diese neuen Arbeiten werden an allen drei Ausstellungsorten der Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin zu früheren Leinwänden und Wandmalereien seit 1984 in Beziehung gesetzt. Hier zeigt sich, dass Rileys Werke immer eine Bilanz dessen sind, was sie bereits erreicht hat, und gleichzeitig Vorarbeiten für künftige Bilder.

 

INTERVALLIC STRUCTURES
(Auszug aus dem Essay von Éric de Chassey)


In 1965, Bridget Riley succinctly described her method in words that have since become famous and often repeated when considering her work: ‘The basis of my painting is this: that in each of them a particular situation is stated. Certain elements within that situation remain constant. Others precipitate the destruction of themselves by themselves. Recurrently, as a result of the cyclic movement of repose, disturbance and repose, the original situation is re-stated.’ The importance of this statement cannot be overemphasised. The fact that she has always remained faithful to the principles thus established enables us to understand one key aspect of Riley’s aesthetics, which has set her oeuvre apart from those of all other abstract painters ever since the early 1960s: harmony encompasses contradictions; it is the result of labour and not an easy and immediate find; order is born out of destruction, not through an internal feud but rather through a paced resolution. The artists who took part in the international Op Art tendency, such as Victor Vasarely or Julio Le Parc, stop at the second step, destroying the stability of a situation to create a feeling of continuous movement and permanent agitation, ultimately leading to the abandonment of the picture plane and the translation of painting into an environment. The artists who established the basis of what came to be known as ‘post-painterly’ or ‘minimal’, such as Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland or Frank Stella, stop at the first stage, creating a pictorial situation that immediately establishes a stable harmony, so much so that, when they felt they had exhausted the possibilities contained in such a method (with the notable exception of Kelly), they created works that start with overtly clashing elements and reach a conclusive state by pitting those one against the other. As for the artists who have turned to abstract painting since the late 1970s, when they don’t re-enact previous artistic situations according to postmodern strategies, they either believe in immediate harmony, emphasise destruction as a creative tool or depend on the unleashing of contradictory elements.


In Riley’s most recent paintings, the Intervals series, she applies the three-stage principles she established in the creation of Movement in Squares in 1961. The particular situation stated here of four to six horizontal bands of four to five colours forms a rectangular unit on a white (or, rather, an off-white) surface. This unit is repeated vertically several times, admittedly with changes in the order of colours, so that its regularity, perceived at first glance as a kind of primary order, is thrown into question and destroyed. The mind and the eye become agitated and attempt to follow the differences between each of the four or five units in a process of comparison. When it has become clear that there is no stable intellectual principle behind the permutations – but only a visual search – the mind and eye can engage in and accept the harmony of the whole picture, established as it has been by the rhythm of changes in its units… As has generally been the case in Riley’s recent paintings, the Intervals take stock of the means and ways that the artist has used previously.

 

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In Zusammenarbeit mit Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris | London