Bridget Riley - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to announce an exhibition of Bridget Riley in collaboration with Aurel Scheibler, her first solo show in Berlin.

The exhibition provides an overview of important phases of Bridget Riley’s work from the last 25 years: ranging from the 80’s vertically striped colored analyses of pictorial spaces, the diagonal rhombus forms of the 90’s, to the most recent active color field work. Through paintings, gouaches and a wall painting the artist challenges the viewer in visual experiments that are equally subtle and provocative.
The exhibition The Responsive Eye in 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, appointed Bridget Riley as one of the leading artists of the Op Art movement. Through optical calculation and with regularities of lines, surfaces, and color combinations, she develops optical illusions in which she investigates sight. As in Cézanne’s and Seurat’s paintings, the pictorial space serves for natural scientific studies. Riley examines the perception of nature by means of color and forms.

"I don’t understand nature as being landscape, but as interplay of visual forces… these forces can be tamed only on the condition that one grasps color and form as autonomous units." (Dialogues on Art, 1995)

In the large Wall Painting 1 (2007), colors and forms optically unfetter themselves from the blue horizontal format (266.5 x 498.5 cm, wall dimensions: 389 x 1117 cm) into the room. The white surface of the underlying wall emerges in various parts of the picture between the blue, green, beige and ochre passages. Everything is in motion, the «powers of nature» vibrate literally as if in a hot summer in Provence. Independent units of forms and color break the borders and dissolve the classical landscape format.
In Painting With Verticals, Cadence 7 (2007), and in Painting with Verticals (Green Painting) (2006) the vibrations and rhythm (cadence) of the powers are grasped as the title suggests. The few colors - orange, pink,beige and light blue - permit the color resonances to be read like musical chords. Encounter (1993) and Blue Return (1984) are equally incisive examples of Riley’s reorientation in terms of structure and color since the rigorous black and white paintings of the 60’s. In Encounter diagonal fields of diamond shapes form color sequences. Bluish-purple, as often used by the Impressionists, glows and underscores the atmospheric value in the analytic construction. The structure of Blue Return is, however, composed by the vertical association of apple-green, brick-red and ochre-yellow.

Bridget Riley was born in 1931 in London where she lives and works. 
She attended Goldsmith College (1949-1952) and the Royal Academy of Art (1952-55). Riley has exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, including Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/M.(2007), ZKM – Museum für Neue Kunst und Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2005), Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2005), San Diego Museum of Art (2004), Tate Britain (Retrospective), London (2003), Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2000), Serpentine Gallery, London (1999), Venice Biennale (1986), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (1980), Kunstverein Hannover (1970), documenta VI, Kassel (1977) and documenta IV, Kassel (1968).
In 2008 a retrospective exhibition of Bridget Riley is scheduled at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. A fully illustrated catalog with an essay by distinguished art historian Robert Kudielka will accompany the exhibition.