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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)
National Galleries of Scotland, 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 (b.1931) 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 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.

The exhibition is organised by the National Galleries of Scotland in close collaboration with the artist, and is presented in partnership with Hayward Gallery, London, where it will be on show from 23 October 2019 until 26 January 2020.

National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh


Bridget Riley

Vertigo. Op Art and a History of Deception 1520 – 1970 (group show)
mumok, Vienna
25 May – 20 October 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, Paradise 30, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005, 2005 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Paradise 30, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005, 2005 © Thomas Struth

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


Bridget Riley

Interaction of color and form. Josef Albers im Dialog mit Werken von Larry Bell, Ólafur Elíasson und Bridget Riley (group show)
UAA Ungers Archive for Architectural Research, Cologne
8 April - 17 May 2019

Bridget Riley, Untitled (Elongated Triangles 2), 1971 © Bridget Riley 2019. All rights reserved
Bridget Riley, Untitled (Elongated Triangles 2), 1971 © Bridget Riley 2019. All rights reserved

On the occasion of the celebration of 100 years Bauhaus, the UAA Ungers Archive for Architectural Research is presenting an exhibition on the superordinate theme of perception and its critical analysis, based on the research by Josef Albers in his legendary publication "Interaction of Color" from 1963. A selection of framed prints from this series is set in correspondence with works by Larry Bell, Ólafur Elíasson and Bridget Riley. All of these artists are connected through their knowledge and studies of color and form. Their work researches an intensive perception as well as resulting in an individual, aesthetic - sensual interpretation. The exhibition was curated by Susanne Kleine, curator at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.

UAA Ungers Archive for Architectural Research



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

On Paper (group show)
Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon
23 February - 18 May 2019

On Paper, from the Arts Council Collection, showcases the work of acclaimed 20th-century and contemporary artists who work with paper. Looking beyond the mark-making of drawing to consider the material itself, the exhibition explores how artists have used paper as the focus of their work in creative and unusual ways.

The exhibition showcases the work of over 40 artists including Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Eduardo Paolozzi, Cornelia Parker, Wolfgang Tillmans and Bridget Riley, among many others.

Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon


Bridget Riley

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

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

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents an exhibition Playing with Masterpieces: from Henri Matisse to Marina Abramovic. The exhibition will demonstrate modern and contemporary art masterpieces from cubism to video art. Following foreign and Russian artists will be at the centre of the display: Kazimir Malevich and Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein and Victor Pivovarov, Natalia Goncharova and Marina Abramović, Alberto Giacometti and Bridget Riley, Anselm Kiefer and Niko Pirosmani.

Playing with Masterpieces is mainly designed for a family visit. The display works as an amusement park where visitors need to climb a staircase, to pass under something, to ride down the slide or to open a cupboard in order to see a work of art so that both children and adults can perceive contemporary art masterpieces beyond styles and conceptions. The exhibition will include selected works of the XX and XXI century such as masterpieces by Kazimir Malevich (Three Figures in a Field), Francis Bacon (Study for head of George Dyer), Roy Lichtenstein (Portrait), Vladimir Yakovlev (Cat Catching a Bird), Viktor Pivovarov (For Pasha, For Vika), Natalia Goncharova (Bathing Girls), Anselm Kiefer (For Adalbert Stifter) as well as works by Wassily Kandinsky, Niko Pirosmani, Marina Abramovic, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and others prominent artists. Visitors will enjoy more than 30 art works in different genres: painting, photography, installation or experimental animation.

Adults often feel lost at the contemporary art exhibitions because they think that it is necessary to know names or to have special knowledge in order to understand unfamiliar forms of art. On the other hand, children feel neglected because they simply cannot see paintings displayed too high on the wall. The exhibition "Playing with Masterpieces" presents art at children’s eye level while objects and annotations help them to see museum as an entertaining and child-friendly space. As for adults, they can explore contemporary art without fear of being lost.

Masterpieces of various styles and periods mold into a statement of its own which aims to point out a universal nature of art, to enter into a dialogue with it and to let emotions prevail over reason. 

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow


Thomas Struth

Titian and the Renaissance in Venice (group show)
Städel Museum, Frankfurt
13 February – 26 May 2019

Thomas Struth, Galleria dell’Accademia 1, Venedig 1992, 1992 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Galleria dell’Accademia 1, Venedig 1992, 1992 © Thomas Struth

In the spring of 2019, the Städel Museum will devote itself to one of the most momentous chapters in the history of European art: Venetian Renaissance painting. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the artists of the lagoon city – first and foremost the young Titian (ca. 1488/90–1576) – developed an independent strain of the Renaissance relying on purely painterly means and the impact of light and colour. This new approach caused a sensation in Venice, and its exponents were soon spreading the innovations outside the city republic as well. In the 1540s, yet another highly talented young generation – now embodied by Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese – came on the scene to vie for commissions in Venice.

In its various sections the exhibition introduces selected characteristic aspects of Venetian painting from the sixteenth century – for example the atmospherically charged landscape depictions that heralded landscape painting as a genre in its own right, the ideal likenesses of beautiful women (“Belle Donne”), or the importance of colour for the art of the Venetians. With more than a hundred masterworks from international collections, the show is the first in Germany to present a first-rate, thematically structured panorama of Venetian Renaissance painting.

The large-scale exhibition features more than twenty examples by Titian alone – the figure who held the key position in the Venetian art scene all his life – and thus the most extensive selection of his works ever before on display in Germany. It also presents works by Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435–1516), Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (1479/80–1528), Sebastiano del Piombo (ca. 1485–1547), Lorenzo Lotto (ca. 1480–1556/57), Jacopo Tintoretto (ca. 1518/19–1594) and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588). The exhibition offers comprehensive insights into the artistic and thematic spectrum of the Renaissance in Venice and elucidates why so many widely differing artists of later centuries looked back to works of this period again and again for orientation.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt


Thomas Struth

Nature & Politics (solo show)
MAST Foundation, Bologna
2 February - 22 April 2019

Thomas Struth, Nature & Politics, installation view, MAST Foundation, Bologna, 2019. © Fondazione MAST
Thomas Struth, Nature & Politics, installation view, MAST Foundation, Bologna, 2019. © Fondazione MAST

The MAST Foundation presents a selection of large colour photographs taken by Thomas Struth from 2007 on at industrial sites and scientific research centres throughout the world that represent cutting-edge technological experimentation and innovation.

One of the best known artist on the international scene, Struth takes us in realms and forbidden zones to which we do not normally have access, giving us a glimpse into the unexplored world behind technological innovation in 25 large-format works on display at the MAST PhotoGallery. Space research labs, nuclear power plants, operating rooms, and drilling platforms are photographed with painstaking precision, detached curiosity, and a remarkable visual sensibility.

The artist focuses on machines as tools transforming contemporary society and shows us scientific, highly technological experiments, developments, research, calibrations and interventions that will at some point, directly or not, intrude into our lives and have an impact. In these images we perceive all the complexity, importance, and force of the processes, but we can also sense the power and the politics of knowledge, and the business they conceal.

MAST Foundation, Bologna


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

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

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