Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"For me, drawing is an enquiry, a way of finding out—the first thing that I discover is that I do not know. This is alarming even to the point of momentary panic. Only experience reassures me that this encounter with my own ignorance—with the unknown—is my chosen and particular task, and provided that I can make the required effort the rewards may teach the unimaginable. It is as though there is an eye at the end of my pencil, which tries, independently of my personal general-purpose eye, to penetrate a kind of obscuring veil or thickness. To break down this thickness, this deadening opacity, to elicit some particle of clarity or insight, is what I want to do." Bridget Riley, excerpted from Bridget Riley: Flashback.
Published by David Zwirner Books. Text by Paul Moorhouse, Robert Kudielka, Richard Shiff. Interview by Robert Kudielka.
Published on the occasion of the major exhibition at David Zwirner in London, this fully illustrated catalogue offers intimate explorations of paintings and works on paper produced by the legendary British artist over the past 50 years, focusing specifically on her recurrent use of the stripe motif. Riley has devoted her practice to actively engaging viewers through elementary shapes such as lines, circles, curves and squares, creating visual experiences that at times trigger optical sensations of vibration and movement. The London show, her most extensive presentation in the city since her 2003 retrospective at Tate Britain, explored the stunning visual variety she has managed to achieve working exclusively with stripes, manipulating the surfaces of her vibrant canvases through subtle changes in hue, weight, rhythm and density. Created in close collaboration with the artist, the publication's beautifully produced color plates offer a selection of the iconic works, including Riley's first stripe works in color from the 1960s, a series of vertical compositions from the 1980s that demonstrate her so-called "Egyptian" palette, and an array of her modestly scaled studies, executed with gouache on graph paper and rarely before seen. A range of texts about Riley's original and enduring practice grounds and contextualizes the images, including new scholarship by art historian Richard Shiff, texts on both the artist's wall paintings and newest body of work by Paul Moorhouse, Twentieth-Century Curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and a 1978 interview with Robert Kudielka, her longtime confidant and foremost critic. Additionally, the book features little-seen archival imagery of Riley at work over the years; documentation of her recent commissions for St. Mary's Hospital in West London; and installation views of the London exhibition itself. Born in London in 1931, Bridget Riley attended Goldsmiths College from 1949 to 1952 and the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. In 1974 she was made a CBE and in 1999 appointed the Companion of Honour. In 1968 she won the International Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale. Recent international museum shows include Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work, National Gallery, London (2010); Bridget Riley: From Life, National Portrait Gallery, London (2010); Bridget Riley: Rétrospective, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2008); and Bridget Riley: Reconnaissance, Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2000).
Published by Hayward Publishing. Text by Michael Bracewell, Bridget Riley, Robert Kudielka.
Bridget Riley is that rare instance of an artist whose work breaks free of art history and merges with the broader cultural imagination, yet preserves for itself a rigorous, focused dialogue with painting's most basic properties: the interaction of form and color. Produced in close collaboration with the artist, Flashback tracks Bridget Riley's career from its sensational beginnings in the early 1960s, at the helm of Op art, to the ambitious and powerful paintings and works on paper of recent years. Alongside a wealth of reproductions of works from 1961 to 2007, it also features an illustrated chronology and list of works in U.K. public collections, an essay by Michael Bracewell and a wonderful meditation by Riley, titled “Work,” in which she looks back on the curve of her art across the decades. “You cannot deal with thought directly outside practice as a painter,” she writes: “‘doing' is essential in order to find out what form your thought takes.” Flashback reveals Riley's achievement in all its energetic glory, surveyable in one concise volume.
Published by Dia Art Foundation. Essays by Lynne Cooke, John Elderfield. Foreword by Michael Govan.
This book documents Bridget Riley's current exhibition at New York's Dia Center for the Arts, Reconnaissance, which brings together seminal paintings from the early 1960s, landmark works esteemed via word-of-mouth but not often seen. These works are shown together with others from the later 60s and 70s to chart the early career of this highly influential but--especially in the US--all-too-little-known artist. Riley's dynamically abstract paintings from the 1960s and 1970s long ago secured her a permanent place in the history of postwar art. Despite this widespread acclaim, Riley's work has been exhibited in the US only on a few occasions. In Reconnaissance, the artist's first solo exhibition to originate in the US in decades, the public will be able to examine a selection from Riley's compelling body of early work. Additionally, Riley has executed a wall drawing for Dia's galleries, which is documented here.