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Bridget Riley

Black & White. Painting from Dürer to Eliasson (group show)
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
22 March - 15 July 2018

Grey, “the ideal colour “, according to Gerhard Richter. Artists have always been drawn to a world devoid of colour. By concentrating on black and white they encourage the viewer to take a fresh perspective on existing patterns of perception and artistic modes of presentation. Comprising around 80 works spanning a period of 700 years – painting, glass painting, photography, prints and drawings – the exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of the special fascination exerted by black-and-white painting. Ranging from medieval grisaille works to Ólafur Elíasson’s light installation “Room for one colour”, the exhibition explores the question of the visual power of the reduced colour palette.

Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf


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Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley (solo show)
The Hayward Gallery, London
23 October 2019 - 26 Hanuary 2020

In October 2019, Hayward Gallery will host a major retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley.

Organised by the National Galleries of Scotland in partnership with Hayward Gallery and in close collaboration with the artist, this comprehensive exhibition will be the first large-scale survey of Riley’s work to be held in the UK for 16 years.

The exhibition will look closely at the origins of Riley’s perceptual paintings and will trace pivotal, decisive moments in her acclaimed career.

It will feature the artist’s iconic black-and-white paintings of the 1960s, early representational paintings, expansive canvases in colour and recent wall paintings, as well as studies and preparatory material.

Alongside her best known canvases, the exhibition will also include the only three-dimensional work that the artist ever realised, Continuum (1963), as well as new wall paintings made specially for Hayward Gallery.

Spanning 70 years of Riley’s work, the exhibition will offer visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience powerful and engaging works by one of the most important artists of our time. 

The Hayward Gallery, London


Bridget Riley

Boom! Bam! Playing with Masterpieces: from Henri Matisse to Marina Abramović (group show)
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow
13 February - 14 April 2019

Bridget Riley, Painting with verticals 2, 2006 © Bridget Riley
Bridget Riley, Painting with verticals 2, 2006 © Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

Messengers (wall painting)
The National Gallery, London
From 17 January 2019

Portrait of Bridget Riley. Image courtesy of the Bridget Riley Archive
Portrait of Bridget Riley. Image courtesy of the Bridget Riley Archive

A new large-scale wall painting by the British abstract artist Bridget Riley will go on display at the National Gallery in January 2019. Spanning 10 x 20 metres, the combination of coloured discs will be painted directly onto the surface of the Gallery’s Annenberg Court.

The title of the work, Messengers, is inspired by a phrase of the landscape painter, John Constable, referring to clouds in the sky, but might also be seen as an allusion to the numerous angels, harbingers of news, that populate the skies of so many National Gallery pictures.

A groundbreaking influence on the development and appreciation of contemporary art, Riley (born 1931) is one of the most important artists of her generation and has long associations with the National Gallery. As a teenager she copied Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?) (1433) as part of her portfolio when applying to Goldsmiths College, London, just after the end of the Second World War. The luminosity of Seurat’s great painting Bathers at Asnières (1884) in the Gallery’s collection became an object of pilgrimage throughout her student years.

From 1981 to 1988 Bridget Riley served as a Trustee of the National Gallery and after leaving continued to support the campaign to retain free entrance. In 1989 Riley was invited to select that year’s Artist’s Eye exhibition and between 2010 and 2011 the Gallery staged her acclaimed exhibition Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work.

Bridget Riley says:

“I was delighted to be asked by the Director, Gabriele Finaldi, to make this wall painting for the National Gallery in the Annenberg Court. I have been an assiduous visitor since childhood and I have the profoundest affection for the Gallery. It has been a guiding star for me, its pictures like a compass, sources of instruction and inspiration.”

The National Gallery, London


Bridget Riley

New acquisitions: Gozzoli to Kara Walker (group show)
The British Museum, London
4 October 2018 – 27 January 2019

Prints and drawings have been an integral part of the Museum's collection since its founding in 1753. To help navigate this extraordinary and vast collection, our latest exhibition highlights a selection of diverse works purchased, donated or bequeathed to the Museum over the last five years.

Spanning across Europe, the Americas and Australasia, and dating from the 1400s to the present day, New Acquisitions: Gozzoli to Kara Walker showcases around 150 prints and drawings from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition reflects the Museum’s focus on collecting works from the 20th and 21st centuries – displaying the works of iconic artists including Georg Baselitz, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley and a monumental three-part print by the acclaimed African American artist Kara Walker.

Tracing over half a millennia’s history of graphic arts, the works of contemporary artists can be seen alongside the great names of the past, such as Renaissance artists Raphael, Benozzo Gozzoli and John-Everett Millais.

From fine art to satirical and popular prints, explore the British Museum’s extensive and unique collection of prints and drawings in this exhibition.

The British Museum, London


Bridget Riley

Land, City & Sea: British Masters from the David Ross Collection (group show)
The Collection Museum, Lincoln
29 September 2018 - 6 January 2019

This exhibition brings together paintings, prints and sculptures from some of the most important artists working in the last sixty years.

For the past twenty years David Ross, the entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for co-founding The Carphone Warehouse Group, has been building a world-class collection of British art made within his lifetime. Bringing together paintings, prints and sculptures by some of the most important artists working in the last sixty years, Land, City & Sea: British Masters from the David Ross Collection highlights the creative and chronological scope of the David Ross Collection as well as the underlying forces that guide and inspire it.

Land, City & Sea explores the many different ways modern and contemporary British artists have responded to the landscape, be it city or countryside, suburb or seaside.

The Collection Museum, Lincoln


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

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

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