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Bridget Riley, Thomas Struth et al.

Oil: Beauty and Horror In The Petrol Age (group show)
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg
4 September 2021 – 9 January 2022

No other substance has shaped societies in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as much as petroleum. Airplanes, tanks, and spacecraft, motorways, shopping malls and suburban settlements, nylon stockings, mountains of plastic, and vinyl – key materials and technologies, lifestyles and visions of our time owe their existence to the energy density and transformability of oil. Now, however, the dusk of the “petrol age” is looming, whereby neither can its end be precisely dated, nor its consequences adequately assessed. The exhibition Oil. Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age therefore takes a speculative, poetic look back at the presence of the modern age of petroleum, which has lasted for roughly one hundred years. From the distance of a hypothetical future, we ask what was typical of our time, what was great and beautiful, what was ugly and terrible, and how all this is reflected in art and culture.

Fundamental here is the observation of a deep conflict: In the oil boom of the 1950s and 1960s, gasoline and kerosene, plastic, asphalt, and synthetic fibers stood for the futuristic promises of boundless mobility, individual freedom, and unrestricted transformability. Today, they are associated with global battles over resources, mountains of waste, and global warming, as well as sea and air pollution.

The exhibition focuses on all this from a fictitious archaeological distance and at the same time seeks a thematic and emotional proximity: Beyond entrenched ideology, it confronts works of art with natural science and technology, politics and everyday life, with knowledge, practices, and apparatus from chemistry, drilling, and geology, from daily working life and pop culture, from industry and cultural theory. Well-known and lesser-known works of art from the canon of Western modernism, as well as from oil-producing regions around the globe, are reappraised in the black mirror of oil and placed in relation to current artistic positions.

The exhibition focuses on the decades between the end of the Second World War and today. The cultural, technical, and geological constellations presented range, however, from the Middle Ages and antiquity to the early history of culture and life, while at the same time anticipating developments that may extend hundreds or even thousands of years into the future.

In this way, the exhibition presents the world’s first retrospective of the global modern age of petroleum.

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg


Additional:

Bridget Riley

Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (solo show)
10 June – 21 August 2022

Image: Bridget Riley, Turquoise Cerise and Grey Curves, 1970, 37 x 34.3 cm., 14 5/8 x 13 1/2 in., Kunstmuseum Bern, Anne-Marie and Victor Loeb-Stiftung, Bern, © Bridget Riley
Image: Bridget Riley, Turquoise Cerise and Grey Curves, 1970, 37 x 34.3 cm., 14 5/8 x 13 1/2 in., Kunstmuseum Bern, Anne-Marie and Victor Loeb-Stiftung, Bern, © Bridget Riley

A solo exhibition with paintings and works on paper by Bridget Riley will be on view at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern from 10 June until 21 August 2022.

Zentrum Paul Klee


Thomas Struth

Hugh Edwards Lecutre: Thomas Struth and Janice Guy in Conversation (Artist Talk)
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Thursday, 2 June, 4 – 5pm (EST)

Image: Thomas Struth, Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990, © Thomas Struth
Image: Thomas Struth, Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990, © Thomas Struth

As part of the annual Hugh Edwards Lecture, Thomas Struth joins Janice Guy, photographer and gallerist, for a conversation on their life and work.

Janice Guy and Thomas Struth’s professional and creative paths have been intertwined since the 1970s. Struth helped preserve Guy’s photographs when she turned from art studies in Düsseldorf to gallery work in Naples; Guy in turn introduced Struth to museums, people, and places that would prompt important work. The two close friends will discuss aspects of art arising from these personal intersections together with curator Matthew Witkovsky, a long-standing acquaintance of both artists.

The annual Hugh Edwards Lecture in Photography honours the memory of Hugh Edwards, curator of photography from 1959 to 1970. A tribute to Edwards’s tremendous dedication and achievements during his time at the Art Institute, this annual lecture has been established to bring internationally renowned practitioners in photography to as broad an audience as possible.

Art Institute of Chicago


Bridget Riley

Perceptual Abstraction (solo show)
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
3 March – 24 July 2022

Installation view: Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2022, photo: Richard Caspole
Installation view: Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2022, photo: Richard Caspole

Bridget Riley’s exhibition Perceptual Abstraction is on view at the Yale Center for British Art until 24 July 2022.

Selected by the artist and displayed over two floors, the works in this exhibition comprise the largest survey of Riley’s work in the United States in twenty years. The show opens with an in-depth examination of Riley’s seminal monochrome paintings of the 1960s on the third floor and presents the full range of her oeuvre in colour on the second floor. Assembling Riley’s most iconic paintings alongside rarely seen works, the exhibition traces the evolution of her deep engagement with the fundamentals of visual perception. 

“Looking carefully at paintings is the best training you can have as a young painter,” Riley has said of her deep appreciation of the work of painters of the past. For this exhibition, she has selected an oil study by John Constable from the Yale Center for British Art and a watercolour by Eugène Delacroix from the Yale University Art Gallery to hang alongside her own work.

The Yale Center for British Art will offer a free digital publication, Bridget Riley in America, which explores Riley’s long and prolific career. The catalogue includes essays by Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani and Rachel Stratton, along with a reflection by the artist.

To mark the occasion, a symposium on Bridget Riley will take place on Saturday, 14 May, from 9.45am – 5pm (ET), aiming to generate new scholarship by recontextualising and interrogating the impact of transatlantic and international experiences and relationships on the artist’s practice. Watch the livestream here.

Yale Center for British Art


Thomas Struth et al.

Deutscher Kaviar (group show)
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn
21 July – 16 October 2022

Work by Thomas Struth is included in the group exhibition Deutscher Kaviar. Die fotografische Sammlung, which will be on view at the Kunstmuseum Bonn from 21 July until 16 October 2022.

Kunstmuseum Bonn


Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio (solo show)
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
17 September 2022 – 16 January 2023

Bridget Riley considers drawing to be an essential part of her—and any—artistic practice. For more than 60 years, the British artist has created abstract, geometric paintings and drawings that challenge and delight the senses. These studies range from working drawings on graph paper to finished gouaches and serve alternately to anticipate and accompany her paintings.

Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio
is the first and most extensive museum exhibition dedicated exclusively to Riley’s drawings in over half a century. The exhibition presents approximately 90 sheets from the artist’s own collection, kept as part of her dynamic studio practice. These works cover the full range of her career—from her student days in the late 1940s, when she dedicated herself exclusively to drawing courses at Goldsmiths College, through her groundbreaking black-and-white optical works of the early 1960s and the innovative colour studies she has produced from the late 1960s to the present day.

In one gallery of the exhibition, Riley has selected works from the Art Institute’s permanent collection to pay homage to the artists who have influenced her work. These include paintings and drawings by Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Georges Seurat, and others.

Art Institute of Chicago


Thomas Struth et al.

Moderne Zeiten. Industriebilder von Menzel bis Gursky (group show)
Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt
24 July – 9 October 2022

Image: Thomas Struth, Saturn V Engine, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral 2008, © Thomas Struth
Image: Thomas Struth, Saturn V Engine, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral 2008, © Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth’s work Saturn V Engine, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral 2008 will be included in the group exhibition Moderne Zeiten. Industriebilder von Menzel bis Gursky, which will be on view at the Museum Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt from 24 July until 9 October 2022.

Museum Georg Schäfer


Thomas Struth et al.

Menschen auf der Strasse - Fotografie (group show)
Märkisches Museum, Witten
12 March – 10 July 2022

Work by Thomas Struth is included in the group exhibition Menschen auf der Strasse - Fotografie, on view at the Märkisches Museum in Witten until 10 July 2022.

Märkisches Museum Witten


Bridget Riley

Working Drawings (publication)

Thames & Hudson has published Bridget Riley: Working Drawings, the first-ever book dedicated to the celebrated British artist’s working drawings. This volume richly illustrates the thinking that goes into Riley’s work through a selection of over 150 drawings, colour analyses, notations, scale studies and cartoons, most of which were exhibited at the artist’s recent seminal retrospective exhibitions in Edinburg and London from 2019 to 2020 organized by the National Galleries of Scotland. The selection spans most of Riley’s working life, tracing the origins and evolving nature of her remarkable body of work. Riley’s beginnings are also documented through selected childhood drawings, work made during and immediately following her studies at Goldsmiths’ College and the Royal College of Art, and her early explorations into abstraction.

The artist’s working method is brought into high relief in a newly commissioned conversation with Riley and Sir John Leighton, Director of the National Galleries of Scotland. The text explores the cardinal moments in the artist’s practice and the impulses that bring her work into existence. The volume also includes four previously published texts dedicated to Riley’s studies and practice written by the artist herself, art historians, curators and museum directors, which shed further light on the enduring role of drawing and the process of exploration central to her work.

Get your copy here.


Thomas Struth

Archive Matrix Assembly: The Photography of Thomas Struth 1978–2018 (publication)

Photo: Kris Graves
Photo: Kris Graves

Archive Matrix Assembly: The Photography of Thomas Struth 1978–2018 presents the first comprehensive, systematic theory of Thomas Struth’s main body of photographic work from its beginnings in the late 1970s until his most recent work in 2018. The book presents a unique, evolutionary understanding of the work, proposing that it has established three stages of production: archive, matrix, and assembly. Together the three stages form a developmental system that characterizes the individual photographs, their relation to their subject matter, and how they form larger, significant collections of images. The book project accomplishes three main goals: it develops a comprehensive critical reading of the work, it serves as a monograph of the artist, and it provides an extensive analysis of the photographs at all stages, including the less discussed, more recent photography, which is placed on par with the earlier work for which Struth first became internationally renowned.

Order a copy here.


Thomas Struth et al.

Monet / Rothko (group show)
Musée des impressionnismes Giverny, Giverny
18 March – 3 July 2022

Thomas Struth’s work The Rothko Chapel, Houston 2017 is included in the group exhibition Monet / Rothko, which will be on view at the Musée des impressionnismes in Giverny from 18 March until 3 July 2022.

Musée des impressionnismes Giverny


Bridget Riley

Intervals 1, 2019
recently acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland

Installation view: Bridget Riley, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, September – October 2020, photo: def image, work © Bridget Riley 2020. All rights reserved
Installation view: Bridget Riley, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, September – October 2020, photo: def image, work © Bridget Riley 2020. All rights reserved

We are pleased to announce that Bridget Riley's Intervals 1, 2019, is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. 

National Gallery of Ireland


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