Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bridget Riley on show and (as well) a Hopper-esque or maybe Mafia-esque view?

Yesterday I made the trek, in extreme conditions ( a very hot underground journey)  to see The Bridget   Riley - The Stripe Paintings 1961-2014 retrospective at the rather delightful David Zwirner Gallery in central London, it is free and is it is finishing this week so if you're interested time is running out.
It's a nice space.

Well the news is that Bridget Riley is still going strong at the age of 83 and continues to work in an abstract style.

I first became aware of Riley in the 70's as  pretty much the inventor of Op Art (which to came after Pop Art)  and for her work (as I saw it) on the Faust Tapes album artwork  which was in fact Crest.

To me a few looked very much like this one
At the time I like the work she was doing as it had an immediate (not subtle) effect on the senses - in 2012 I saw work of hers at Tate Modern and  last year I was lucky enough to see one of Bridget's works at the Timothy Taylor gallery both of the events  helped to re-ignite my interest in the Op art field (admittedly a small field).

What I became aware of in seeing the '  The Stripe Paintings' was that Bridget has moved on from her 60s work around black and white works which sort of 'tricked' the eye and was now working, mainly with colour to create different effects.
A Riley work from the 1960s

While I still relate to the works I saw I must say that for me the thing that Riley's work lacks (almost more than any artist I can think of) is emotion, it doesn't surprise me that Riley has others make her technically adept works while she concentrates on the design or that she draws on ((as in 'is influenced by')  Mondrian and Seurat (amongst others) for inspiration. Riley like so many of the British artistic firmament was an Art  teacher for many years and has lectured, written extensively  and curated many fine exhibitions by other artists over the years.

Interesting too that Riley was one of the guiding lights behind SPACE which works to provide affordable  working studios for artists in London. Here's a video with more of her work...

Shades of Hopper

After viewing Riley's work I snapped a little and rather like the image below which to me has something of the Hopper about it - rather pleased too to see that  'Hopper-esque' has a definition as befits it.

A conversation I'll never hear

And was also interested to see this quote on a wall in town it's from Louis-Antoine Saint-Just 1767-1794 who had quite a way with words and here's a link to a bit about it and the artist (Ian Hamilton Finlay) who created the work.
Written on the sidewalk wall

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