BIOGRAPHIES, MEMOIRS, DIARIES

PUBLISHER
Ridinghouse

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5.75 x 8.75 in. / 272 pgs / 11 color / 19 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2019 p. 96   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781909932500 TRADE
List Price: $24.95 CDN $34.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

BROWSE THE 2022 MID WINTER CATALOG

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Preview our Mid-Winter 2022 catalog, featuring new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

RIDINGHOUSE

Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person

The Early Years

By Paul Moorhouse.

Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person

"The first biography of Bridget Riley... addresses the tantalizing question: How did success arrive so suddenly for the young artist?” –Artspace

In January 1965 the international art world converged on New York to pay homage to a brilliant new star. The glittering opening of The Responsive Eye, a major exhibition of abstract painting at the Museum of Modern Art, signalled the latest phenomenon, op art—and its center of attention was a young painter named Bridget Riley, whose dazzling painting Current appeared on the cover of the catalogue. Riley’s first solo show in New York sold out, and, following a feature in Vogue magazine, the Riley “look” became a fashion craze. Overnight, she had become a sensation, yet only three years earlier, she was a virtual unknown. How did success arrive so suddenly?

Authored by the acclaimed curator and writer Paul Moorhouse, A Very Very Person is the first biography of Bridget Riley and addresses that tantalizing question. Focusing on her early years, it tells the story of a remarkable woman whose art and life were entwined in surprising ways. This intimate narrative explores Riley’s wartime childhood spent in the idyllic Cornish countryside, her subsequent struggles to find her way as an artist, and the personal challenges she faced before finally arriving as one of the world’s most celebrated artists in Swinging 1960s London.

Paul Moorhouse is is an art historian and curator. He was Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London (2005–17) and Senior Curator at Tate, London (1985–2005), where he curated a major Bridget Riley retrospective exhibition in 2003. Recent books include Cindy Sherman (2014), Bridget Riley: From Life (2010), the award-winning Gerhard Richter: Painting Appearances (2009), Pop Art Portraits (2007) and Richard Long: Walking the Line (2003).

Featured image is reproduced from 'Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Times Literary Supplement

Jerome Boyd Maunsell

As Paul Moorhouse shows in this thorough and sensitive first biography, which concentrates on her early years up to the age of thirty-four, it was only after many false starts, bracing shocks and firm decisions that Riley found her way as an abstract painter in the early 1960s with her eye-dazzling lines, squares, curves, ovals, circles, stripes and zigzags in ultra-hard-edged black-and-white.

Midwest Book Review

Julie Summers

An exceptionally informative and deftly crafted biography of an impressive woman and her equally impressive artistic accomplishments, "Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person: The Early Years" features a center section of illustrations and is an extraordinary and engaging read from beginning to end.

Wall Street Journal

Ann Landi

In “Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person—The Early Years,” Paul Moorhouse, a former senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London, doesn’t attempt a full-scale biography but instead homes in on the period between the artist’s childhood and her earliest success, and makes a surprising but compelling case for the influence of landscape on Ms. Riley’s distinctive style.

Hyperallergic

[A Very Very Person] is an entertaining and informative text that adds greatly to our understanding of a very prominent and still highly intriguing British artist.

Elephant

Emily Gosling

[Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person] explores her journey from British wartime beginnings to her rise as darling of the New York art world—and one of the most famous proponents of op art in the world.

Artspace

The first biography of Bridget Riley... addresses the tantalizing question: How did success arrive so suddenly for the young artist?

Hyperallergic

Edward Gomez

Paul Moorhouse’s well-researched, lucid new biography, Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person (Ridinghouse, 2019) may help reveal to a broad audience the full scope and richness of her unusual, distinctive oeuvre.

Arsty

Alina Cohen

Riley’s work, which at first appears to be a collection of simple patterns, rewards sustained, careful looking; her work’s genius lies in the way her compositions gradually reveal a vital, dynamic interplay of shape and color. Yet Riley’s considerations reach far beyond the tricks and treats of optical games, urging viewers to rethink the way they see.

Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/16/2019

Dazzling discharges of light in Paul Moorehouse's new early-years biography of Bridget Riley

Dazzling discharges of light in Paul Moorehouse's new early-years biography of Bridget Riley

Featured image, a detail from a 1963 contact sheet by Ida Kar, captures Op Art pioneer Bridget Riley inside Continuum (1963), the only three-dimensional work the artist ever realized (image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London). It is reproduced from Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person, art historian and former NPG Senior Curator Paul Moorhouse's compelling new ealy-years biography. Inspired by the way that Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris produced a field of color capable of enveloping the viewer, Continuum "destabilized the viewer’s field of vision," Moorehouse writes. "The dynamic action of expanding and contracting chevron shapes produced hallucinatory movements, undulations in space and unpredictable, dazzling discharges of light. But in a further development, while standing inside Continuum the viewer could turn around and shift their gaze within an enclosed space. That expanded view powerfully augmented the sensation of being ‘devoured.’ In effect, virtual space and real space had overlapped and merged. The result was an all-encompassing intensification, generating an experience at once perceptual and uncompromisingly physical." continue to blog


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