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Bridget Riley, Thomas Struth et al.

The Lie of the Land (group show)
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
16 March - 26 May 2019

Through a playful and provocative display The Lie of the Land charts how British landscape was radically transformed by changes in free time and leisure activities since hunting and shooting, the recreations of the aristocracy, were enjoyed on the rolling hills of their private estates. In part, tracing a line between Capability Brown’s aristocratic gardens at Stowe and the social, urban experiment at neighbouring Milton Keynes, the exhibition teases out the aspirations that underpin our built environments.

The Lie of the Land examines the modernisation of leisure propelled by industrialisation, a theme developed from Canaletto’s painting of the fashionable public entertainment venue, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Victorian era, with its social reforms aiming to improve urban living conditions, is represented by the Parks Movement. Alongside works by early science fiction writer Jane Loudon and the founder of the Garden City Movement Ebenezer Howard, the exhibition also includes the first-ever lawnmower, John Ruskin’s rock collection and influential horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll’s gardening boots.

From the late-18th century, large-scale public spectacles became hugely popular as a result of technical advances. Hot air ballooning, horse racing and concerts heralded the commodification of leisure. By contrast, grassroots-initiated activity such as raves, carnivals and urban sports are traced in the work of, for example, Jeremy Deller and Errol Lloyd and use of public spaces for protest are explored, including the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp occupation. 
 
As the 20th century progressed, in Milton Keynes, chief architect Derek Walker proposed a city greener than the surrounding countryside where cars, electronic communication and nature reinvented the idea of the town-country for the 1970s. Radical urban theory was to be combined with the LA lifestyle and the thrill of pop culture – also reflected in the art of Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi.

The Lie of the Land highlights campaigns to democratise space, from the 17th century egalitarian Levellers to the 1930s Ramblers. We look at how people use public space, and the communities that have been excluded through structures of race, gender, disability and class, explored in works by artists including Jo Spence, Rose Finn-Kelcey and Ingrid Pollard.

Overall, the exhibition aims to capture a visionary spirit of grand designs tempered by the realities of political expediency. Public resources are under increasing pressure and ‘placemaking’ and ‘regeneration’ remain central to urban development. The Lie of the Land looks reflexively at the role of culture in this process, drawing inspiration and seeking lessons from the past.

MK Gallery, Milton Keynes


Additional:

Bridget Riley

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

Bridget Riley, Continuum, 1963/2005 © Bridget Riley 2018. All rights reserved
Bridget Riley, Continuum, 1963/2005 © Bridget Riley 2018. All rights reserved

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


Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth (solo show)
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
4 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

Thomas Struth, Kyoko and Tomoharu Murakami, Tokyo 1991 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Kyoko and Tomoharu Murakami, Tokyo 1991 © Thomas Struth

A comprehensive journey through more than four decades of work by the acclaimed German photographer Thomas Struth (b. 1954), this exhibition will offer examples of the different stages of his work and the social concerns that have driven the evolution of his influential art. With more than 130 works, the exhibition, first seen at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, is the most extensive showing of his artistic career to date and contains early works that have never been exhibited before. Research materials from his archive will also help to present the ideas he has been working on for the past years

This meticulously composed presentation connects Struth’s initial ideas to his well-defined groups of works, such as Unconscious Places, Portraits, Museum Photographs, New Pictures From Paradise and Places of Worship. Thus establishing a dialogue with other works such as Berlin-Project, a video work conceived in 1998 together with media artist Klaus vom Bruch, or with the most recent photo series Nature & Politics as well as with the landscape and flower photographs created for the wards of Winterthur Hospital, later compiled in the monograph Dandelion Room (Löwenzahnzimmer). These relations between works highlight Struth’s ability to combine analysis with photographic creation in the multiple subjects and techniques that he applies to produce astonishing and powerful photographic images.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao


Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley (solo show)
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
15 June - 22 September 2019

Bridget Riley, High Sky, 1991 © Bridget Riley, 2018. All rights reserved.
Bridget Riley, High Sky, 1991 © Bridget Riley, 2018. All rights reserved.

For more than 60 years, Bridget Riley has created dazzling and compelling abstract paintings which explore the fundamental nature of perception. Through her observations of the natural world, her experience of looking at the work of other artists, and through her own experimentation, Riley has made a deep, personal investigation of the act of painting, and of how we see. She is one of the most distinguished and world-renowned artists working today.

This comprehensive exhibition, which takes over both floors of the Royal Scottish Academy, will be the first museum survey of Riley’s work to be held in the UK for 16 years, and the first of its kind in Scotland. Spanning over 70 years of work, it will place particular emphasis on the origins of Riley’s practice and will trace pivotal moments across her acclaimed career. It will feature early paintings and drawings, iconic black-and-white works of the 1960s, Riley’s expansive explorations into colour, wall paintings and recent works, as well as studies that reveal Riley’s working methods.

National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh


Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley (opening talk)
Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
15 June, 12 - 1pm

Bridget Riley, Blaze 1, 1962 © Bridget Riley 2018
Bridget Riley, Blaze 1, 1962 © Bridget Riley 2018

To coincide with the opening of the Bridget Riley retrospective exhibition, Éric de Chassey, Directeur Général, Institut national d'histoire de l'art, Paris will consider at the celebrated artist's work.

Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh


Thomas Struth

This Place (group show)
Jewish Museum, Berlin
7 June 2019 - 5 January 2020

Thomas Struth, Z-Pinch Plasma Lab, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 2011, 2011 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Z-Pinch Plasma Lab, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 2011, 2011 © Thomas Struth

This exhibition explores the complexity of Israel and the West Bank—their topography, inhabitants, and everyday life—from the perspective of twelve internationally acclaimed photographers.

Photographer and project initiator Frédéric Brenner says that his point of departure for the project was the desire to add new artistic visions to the images familiar from reporting on the region. He convinced renowned photographers to join him: Wendy Ewald, Martin Kollar, Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Lee, Gilles Peress, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Solomon, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, and Nick Waplington traveled to the region again and again over the course of several years.

Together, the more than 200 photographs create a complex visual portrait. Themes such as identity, family, the homeland, and landscape come into focus, while emphasis on the Middle East conflict varies. The widely differing works invite viewers to discuss the heterogeneousness of the region.

Jewish Museum, Berlin


Bridget Riley

Vertigo. Op Art and a History of Deception 1520 - 1970 (group show)
mumok, Vienna
25 May - 20 October 2019

Bridget Riley, Hesitate, 1964 © Tate, London/Bildrecht Wien/ Bridget Riley, 2019
Bridget Riley, Hesitate, 1964 © Tate, London/Bildrecht Wien/ Bridget Riley, 2019

Of all the pioneering art movements of the 1960s, Op art and kinetic art seem to have been accorded the least recognition. Often they were depreciatingly seen as too spectacular and thus superficial. Wrongly so, since Op art and kinetic art sharpen our awareness of the ambiguous nature of reality. They quite literally show us that perception is not objective but dependent on volatile parameters relating to context and to the beholder, with all the epistemological consequences that this has.

The exhibition Vertigo. Op Art and a History of Deception 1520 - 1970 presents a puzzling world of sensory illusion, comprising a broad spectrum of works including paintings, reliefs, and objects, installations and experiential spaces, and film and computer generated art.

mumok, Vienna


Thomas Struth

Composition 19. Thomas Struth at the Hilti Art Foundation (solo and curated show)
Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz
12 April - 6 October 2019

Thomas Struth, Composition 19. Thomas Struth at the Hilti Art Foundation, installation view, Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz, 2019. Photo: Ines Agostinelli © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation
Thomas Struth, Composition 19. Thomas Struth at the Hilti Art Foundation, installation view, Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz, 2019. Photo: Ines Agostinelli © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation

From 12 April until 6 October 2019, the Hilti Art Foundation is presenting works of the German artist Thomas Struth (* 1954) from its collection that focus on civilisation and nature, technology and culture.

In this self-curated show, Struth combines his works with paintings and sculptures from the Hilti Art Foundation collection, thus placing them for the first time in his international exhibiting career in an iconographic and aesthetic context with artworks from the 19th and 20th century.

Thomas Struth, who studied under Gerhard Richter and Bernd Becher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1973 to 1980, has combined his photographs primarily into groups of works with such titles as Unbewusste Orte (Unconscious Places), Museum Photographs, Kultstätten (Cult Sites) or New Pictures from Paradise. On a global scale, he has trained his eye on streets, squares and buildings in various cities in different countries, on religious buildings and museums, including their visitors, or on the thicket of indigenous and non-European vegetation. Since around 2007 he has been increasingly interested in the complexity of industry, technology and research.

The photographs in the exhibition also concentrate on these aspects. Spread across all three floors of the building, the presentation of works is divided into the themes of People, Technology, Urbanity, Nature and Cult Spaces. The paintings and sculptures that Struth selected from the collection accompany the photographs as equals, revealing analogies in terms of both content and form. At the same time, they intensify the dialogue and the contrast between genres and epochs, for example when photographs of the Prado Museum in Madrid with baroque paintings and photographs of the Siemens Schaltwerk in Berlin with high-tech machinery are juxtaposed with the classical human figure of Wilhelm Lehmbruck. In the same sense, Struth also combines his photographs with works of Picasso, Klee, Léger, Mondrian, Giacometti, Wols, Klapheck or Richter.

Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz


Thomas Struth

America Will Be!: Surveying the Contemporary Landscape (group show)
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
6 April - 6 October 2019

Thomas Struth, Dallas Parking Lot Dallas 2001, 2001 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Dallas Parking Lot Dallas 2001, 2001 © Thomas Struth

Drawing on works from the DMA’s permanent collection, this exhibition presents the ways in which contemporary artists engage with landscapes, broadly defined, exploring how our natural and built environments intersect with our representations of ourselves and our communities. The landscape has been both a traditional art historical genre and a means of mythologizing the origins of American history and culture as a colonial product, creating an image of unclaimed terrain that erased the people who already inhabited it.

“America will be!” is the rousing closing line of the 1935 poem “Let America Be America Again,” in which Langston Hughes argues for a vision of America—and for what it is to be American—that includes the multiplicity of experiences at both the margins and the center, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or origin. This exhibition explores how contemporary “landscapes” might better reflect the full diversity of the peoples who inhabit North and South America.

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas


Thomas Struth

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits (group show)
Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
16 March - 14 July 2019

Thomas Struth, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011, 2011 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011, 2011 © Thomas Struth

Tudors to Windsors traces the history of the British monarchy through the outstanding collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.  This exhibition highlights major events in British (and world) history from the sixteenth century to the present, examining the ways in which royal portraits were impacted by both the personalities of individual monarchs and wider historical change. Presenting some of the most significant royal portraits, the exhibition will explore five royal dynasties: the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Georgians, the Victorians and the Windsors shedding light on key figures and important historical moments. This exhibition also offers insight into the development of British art including works by the most important artists to have worked in Britain, from Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz.

Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo


Bridget Riley

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

Bridget Riley with Messengers by Bridget Riley, Annenberg Court, The National Gallery © 2019 Bridget Riley. All rights reserved / Photo: The National Gallery, London
Bridget Riley with Messengers by Bridget Riley, Annenberg Court, The National Gallery © 2019 Bridget Riley. All rights reserved / Photo: The National Gallery, London

See Messengers, a new large-scale wall painting by Bridget Riley: one of the most important artists of her generation.

The title, Messengers, is inspired by a phrase Constable used when referring to clouds, and might also be an allusion to the numerous angels, bearers of news, that we see in the skies of so many National Gallery pictures.

Painted directly onto the wall of the Annenberg Court and spanning a vast 10 x 20 metres, the abstract work, comprised of coloured discs, carries influences from our historic collection over into the 21st century. Throughout art history, harmonies of colour have played a large part in pictorial composition.Taking as a point of departure the paintings of George Seurat, in particular Bathers at Asnières, Bridget Riley’s 'Messengers' transforms the Annenberg Court into a great white space in which coloured discs float as clouds drift in the lanes of the sky. By leaving after-images on the viewer's retina that suggest volume and movement the longer it is perceived, the work becomes a tribute to its artistic predecessors and to the process of looking at art itself.

Bridget Riley (born 1931) has a long-standing relationship with the Gallery; she made copies of paintings in the collection including Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?), 1433, as a teenager as part of her portfolio when applying to Goldsmiths College, London, just after the end of the Second World War, and Georges Seurat's Bathers at Asnières while training as an artist.

In 1989 Riley was invited to select that year’s Artist’s Eye exhibition and between 2010 and 2011 the Gallery held her acclaimed exhibition Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work.

The National Gallery, London


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