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Bridget Riley

Croydon School of Art (group show)
Museum of Croydon, Croydon
20 December 2017 - 14 April 2018

Croydon School of Art was established by the Literary & Scientific Society and formally opened in May 1868. Its first teaching rooms were in the Public Halls, Croydon, which stood on the corner of George Street and Wellesley Road until 1947.

From very early in its history, the School of Art had a close relationship with the Council, initially through grants before coming under its direct control in 1932.

The increasing number of students and range of courses offered by the School put pressure on the accommodation. Even before the Second World War, plans were developed for new premises on the Fairfield site.

In 1960, Croydon Technical College & Croydon College of Art were formally opened on the current site beginning a period of great cultural activity.

'Interior of Croydon Art School' by Norman Partridge (m/1992/584).The exhibition displays works from many of the artists who had connections with the School, either as students, visiting teachers or lecturers.

These range from Victorian watercolours and oils depicting Croydon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to graphic prints and abstract paintings from artists such as Richard Allen (1933 - 1999), John Hoyland (1934 – 2011) and Bridget Riley (b. 1931). Local artist Norman Partridge (1921 – 2002) was a student at the School from the age of 16 and two works by him, depicting the interior of the studios and teaching rooms, have been specifically purchased for this exhibition.

The Museum of Croydon also holds archival and local history material related to the history of the School, some of which is included in the exhibition.

Museum of Croydon, Croydon


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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.

Tate


Bridget Riley, Julian Schnabel et al.

Hello World. Revising a Collection (group show)
Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
28 April - 26 August 2018

„Hello World. Revising a Collection“ is a critical inquiry into the collection of the Nationalgalerie and its predominantly Western focus: What could the collection look like today, had an understanding characterised its concept of art, and consequently also its genesis, that was more open to the world? How might the canon and the art historical narratives themselves have changed through a widening and multiplication of perspectives? With these questions as starting points, the exhibition unfolds in 13 thematic chapters as a many-voiced collaboration of internal and external curators, encompassing the whole exhibition space of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin


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


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