Albert Oehlen, Bridget Riley et al.

On With The Show (group show)
Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg
7 December 2017 - 25 February 2018


Bridget Riley

Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s (group show)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
30 June 2018 - 6 January 2019

As one of the most culturally and politically significant periods of the twentieth century, the 1960s also gave rise to numerous aesthetic innovations. Fueled by creativity and technological euphoria, artists began exploring new mediums and incorporating popular themes, motifs, and subjects into their practices. In time, movements such as Pop art, Op art, and Minimalism—and later Conceptual, Performance, and video art—radically reshaped the boundaries of the art world.

Assembled from the Albright-Knox’s expansive collection, Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s features major works by some of the leading artists of the period—such as Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, and Pop icon Andy Warhol—and reconsiders those who played an underrecognized, but vital, role in furthering the visual avant-garde in the United States and beyond. Additionally, the exhibition will incorporate a small selection of special ephemera, artist books, and archival materials, including documentation of notable dance and theatrical performances that were organized or commissioned by the museum during the 1960s.

Internationally known for collecting and giving voice to both established and up-and-coming artists, the Albright-Knox continually strives to present the art of our time—a quest that took firm hold in the 1960s. More than half a century later, Giant Steps revisits the vivacious imaginings of this compelling epoch.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

Bridget Riley

Op Art in Focus (group show)
Tate Liverpool, Liverpool
21 July 2018 - 2 June 2019

A dazzling display from pioneering artists of the 1960s to today

Op art – short for optical art – emerged in the 1960s. Its leading figures included Bridget Riley, Jesus Rafael Soto and Victor Vasarely. They combined lines, geometric shapes and eye popping colour to create artworks that fool the eye. Images could be subtle or disorientating, giving the illusion of movement. The display moves beyond the typical period of op art and includes works by more contemporary artists such as Angela Bulloch. Included is a rare installation of Jim Lambie’s Zobop which floods the entire gallery floor with psychedelic patterning.

Op art in Focus is a part of Tate Liverpool’s in Focus series – displays of the Tate collection dedicated to significant modern and contemporary artists or movements.


Albert Oehlen

As Far as the Eye Can See - New Insight into the Würth Collection (group show)
Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall
23 April 2018 - 17 March 2019

The Würth Collection, already rich in diversity and specific features, has nevertheless been enlarged by a wealth of exciting international acquisitions over the past ten years. An opulent selection of almost 200 works dating from the 1960s onwards are now being put on show for the public, many of them for the first time.
The main accesssions have been in the fields of painting and sculpture. The often powerful
formats by Karel Appel, Daniel Buren, Anthony Caro, Tony Cragg, Felix Droese, Antony Gormley, Peter Halley, Johannes Itten, Alex Katz, Martin Kippenberger, Per Kirkeby, Imi Knoebel, Maria Lassnig, Robert Longo, Brian O’Doherty, Albert Oehlen, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer, Gerhard Richter, Antonio Saura, Sean Scully, Monika Sosnowska, Antoni Tàpies and many others reflect in many ways the complexity as well as the openness of positions in art over the past 60 years.
Whereas the art predominant in the western world in the post-war years was mainly dedicated to art forms that, freed from all figuration, tradition and representational constraints, relied solely on the inspired gesture, now artists emerged who were suspicious of precisely this supposedly ingenious artistic inspiration. While some declared painting to be dead, others took very different approaches towards a “re-vision” of painting and sculpture, which included both provocation and irony.
This did not ultimately involve some kind of empathetic return to the painterly or figurative, but rather a re-negotiation of traditionally conveyed notions of the image and the reproduction. What is more, it is a process which has still not been completed to this very day.
The exhibition is subdivided into several sections that provide exciting insight into a variety of themes ranging from Colour Field to Nature Transformed to Body Communication,
not omitting Staged Conflict Fields or The Grand Gesture. You may well be surprised!

Würth Collection

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley: Paintings from the 1960s to the Present (solo show)
Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Sakura
14 April - 26 August 2018

Bridget Riley, From Here, 1994 © Bridget Riley 2018, all rights reserved. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York / London.
Bridget Riley, From Here, 1994 © Bridget Riley 2018, all rights reserved. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York / London.

British artist Bridget Riley (born 1931) gained recognition beginning in the 1960's for her abstract paintings that employ geometric patterns in order to produce optical vibrations. Riley began her career painting landscapes in the style of Georges Seurat following early artistic studies that were largely informed by Old Masters painting, Impressionism, and Pointillism which led to a dramatic change in her style. Entering the 1960s, her work became fully abstract and she utilized a reduced palette of only black and white. In 1967, Riley introduced color into her work, generating what would become a signature series of paintings that juxtapose undulating bands of color to create a strong visual sensation of movement within the picture plane. This unique style would secure her a place of recognition in the art world. Since then, Riley has continued to innovate and to create works that privilege the interaction of color and form to produce strong optical sensations that appeal to so many viewers.

In an attempt to highlight the sustained brilliance of Riley’s art, this exhibition presents more than 30 paintings that span her career—including key examples of her black-and-white works of the 1960s, stripe paintings of the 1970s, curve paintings of the 1990s, in addition to her more recent wall paintings. As such, this is the first full-scale exhibition of Riley’s work in Japan in 38 years.

Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Sakura

Albert Oehlen

Cows by the Water (solo show)
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
8 April 2018 - 6 January 2019

Albert Oehlen, installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2018 © Palazzo Grassi, Photo: Matteo De Fina
Albert Oehlen, installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2018 © Palazzo Grassi, Photo: Matteo De Fina

From Sunday 8 April 2018, Palazzo Grassi presents Cows by the water, a personal exhibition dedicated to German artist Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) and curated by Caroline Bourgeois.

The exhibition lays out a path dedicated to Albert Oehlen’s production through a selection of approximately 85 works, including some lesser-known ones, created between the 1980's and today. The works brought together come from the Pinault Collection as well as from other major private collections and international museums.

Cows by the water path is not chronological but rather suggests a syncopated rhythm between various genres and periods, thereby underlining the central role played by music in the artist’s practice. Music emerges as a real metaphor of his work method, where contamination and rhythm, improvisation and repetition, density and harmony of sounds become pictorial gestures.

Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) reveals himself to be a major figure of contemporary painting thanks to his artistic research in constant evolution, dedicated to experiments and to overcoming formal limits rather than to the subject represented.

The artist’s work has already be presented in exhibitions around the world, including at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana in 2017, the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2016, the New Museum in New York in 2015, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn in 2012 and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2009. 'Cows by the water' in Venice is his largest monographic one to date.

Palazzo Grassi, Venice

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley (solo show)
The Chinati Foundation, Marfa
6 October 2017 - 2019

Bridget Riley, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, 1983, as wall painting, Bolt of Colour, 2017. Courtesy Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas. ©Bridget Riley. All rights reserved. Photo: Alex Marks
Bridget Riley, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, 1983, as wall painting, Bolt of Colour, 2017. Courtesy Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas. ©Bridget Riley. All rights reserved. Photo: Alex Marks

In October 2017 the Chinati Foundation will inaugurate a large new multicolored wall painting by Bridget Riley. The artwork has been conceived specifically for the museum’s special exhibition building and will encompass the entire U-shaped enclosure. The work will debut during Chinati Weekend, October 6 through 8, and remain on view through 2019.

For more than fifty years Bridget Riley has pursued a rigorous, open-ended, and self-renewing inquiry into the constituent elements of abstract painting. She established her reputation in the early and mid-1960s with visually dizzying black-and-white works and then, through a slow step-by-step process later that decade, began to explore the properties of color. Throughout her career, Riley has developed paintings through the accumulation and distribution of particular forms—vertical and horizontal stripes, circles, triangles, and rhomboids, curving bands—that move rhythmically across the surface of a painting. The works create luminous visual fields that are difficult to take in all at once and that seem to shimmer, blink, and glow in an indeterminate space between the viewer and the actual surface of the painting. Over the course of her career, Riley’s explorations of the possibilities of a given template of shapes and colors have prompted further investigations, and she often returns to forms she has used earlier in order to test them in new contexts.

Riley’s first wall painting was made in response to a 1979 invitation from the Royal Liverpool Hospital to conceive a work for its walls. Riley devised a visual scheme featuring horizontal ribbons of color, running the lengths of the hospital corridors. The palette, like that of her paintings at the time, was inspired by a 1980 trip to the pyramids and tomb paintings of ancient Egypt. Of this color scheme Riley later wrote: “The Ancient Egyptians had a fixed palette. They used the same colors—turquoise, blue, red, yellow, green, black and white—for over 3,000 years….In each and every usage these colors appeared different but at the same time they united the appearance of the entire culture. Perhaps even more important, the precise shades of these colors had evolved under a brilliant North African light and consequently they seemed to embody the light and even reflect it back from the walls.”

Riley completed the design for the Royal Liverpool Hospital in 1983. In the years since, she has made many more wall paintings, including a work for two floors of St. Mary’s Hospital in London in 1987, with a third floor completed in 2014. In addition to these commissions, Riley has made wall drawings for numerous museum and gallery exhibitions and collections in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe.

Riley’s wall painting for Chinati will be the artist’s largest work to date and span six of the eight walls of the building. As referenced in the work’s title, Wall Painting, Royal Liverpool Hospital 1983–2017, the mural revisits Riley’s Egyptian palette and establishes a continuity between the design for the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the new work for Chinati. It is inspired in part by similarities in size and spatial orientation in the sites of each project and affinities between the brilliant light and palette the artist witnessed in Egypt and the high desert landscape in which the Chinati Foundation is situated.

Riley draws inspiration from nature—not as a subject to be depicted but as a play of perceptions and sensations. She has written: “For me nature is not landscape, but the dynamism of visual forces—an event rather than an appearance. These forces can only be tackled by treating color and form as ultimate identities, freeing them from all descriptive or functional roles.” Riley’s paintings make plain how they were made yet induce optical effects that supersede their physical qualities, demonstrating a rapport with works in Chinati’s permanent collection by artists of her generation such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Robert Irwin. Her wall painting for Chinati will merge art and architecture and release the potentiality of color in harmony with many of the works in the museum’s collection.

The Chinati Foundation, Marfa