2022 Newly Elected Members of American Academy of Arts and Letters
We congratulate Charles Gaines and Bridget Riley on their selection into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, one of the highest forms of recognition of artistic merit in the United States.
An honour society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers, the American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, John Singer Sargent, and Mark Twain.
American Academy of Arts and Letters
Verve, 2023 (installation)
British School at Rome
Unveiled 4 May 2023
Bridget Riley’s first ceiling painting, Verve, 2023, was unveiled on 4 May 2023 at the British School at Rome. Covering four barrel vaults of the ceiling in the artist’s ‘Egyptian palette’, the large-scale work appears in the foyer of the BSR. Since 2016, Riley has endowed the Bridget Riley Fellowship, which provides an opportunity for a young painter to spend six months developing their work at the school.
British School at Rome
Bridget Riley et al.
No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection (group show)
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
20 April 2023 – 28 January 2024
Bridget Riley’s Untitled, 1973, is included in the exhibition No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection at the Kunsthalle Wien. The comprehensive, international group presentation revolves around the collection of modern works belonging to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, North Macedonia, as well as the historical and political context of this extraordinary project. The museum was established as part of a huge effort to rebuild the devastated city of Skopje (in former Yugoslavia), after the massive earthquake that hit in 1963. Thousands of works were donated to Skopje by artists from around the world, forming a collection which represents a time capsule of international art at a moment when modernism was in its prime.
Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio (solo show)
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
4 February – 28 May 2023
Previously at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio will be on view at the Hammer Museum in LA from 4 February 2023. The first and most extensive institutional presentation dedicated exclusively to Riley’s drawings in over half a century, the exhibition presents approximately ninety works on paper and covers the entirety of the artist’s career, spanning her student days in the late 1940s, her groundbreaking black-and-white optical works of the early 1960s, and the innovative colour studies she has undertaken from the late 1960s to the present day. This marks the first major exhibition of her work at a West Coast museum.
Moving Chains. 2022 (installation)
Governors Island, New York City
15 October 2022 – June 2023
The artist’s first public artwork, Moving Chains, is now open to the public on Governors Island, New York City. Built from steel and sustainably harvested Sapel – a tree native to West Africa commonly referred to as ‘African Mahogany’ – the 110-foot-long kinetic sculpture is activated by colossal chains rotating overhead anchors. Recalling the history of slavery, the installation addresses systemic racism in contemporary America through a powerfully embodied visual experience.
Moving Chains is the second part of Gaines’ ‘The American Manifest’, a three-part project of multimedia performances, sculpture, and educational sessions offering a critical commentary of American capitalism. Part one of the project consisted of a sculptural display of seven upside-down sweetgum trees, titled Roots, in Times Square. For part three, Moving Chains will travel to the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati in Summer 2023.
Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio (publication)
Published by Modern Art Press
Edited by Jay A. Clarke, Rachel Federman and Cynthia Burlingham
Contributions by Thomas Crow
Published on the occasion of Bridget Riley’s solo exhibition at the Art Institute Chicago, Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist Studio explores the importance of Riley’s works on paper as means of visual experimentation and works of art in their own right, illustrating the story of a career underpinned by drawing.
The illustrated catalogue, by Modern Art Press, is available to preorder and will be published on 11 October 2022.
The Art Institute Chicago
Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio (solo show)
Art Institute of 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
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.
Dia Beacon, Beacon (solo show)
19 February 2021 – 5 February 2023
Charles Gaines has been interrogating the way meaning is constructed through lyrical, system-based work since the 1970s, when he began incorporating the grid as a central formal device in his work. A key figure in the development of Conceptual art, the artist analyzes, overlaps, and juxtaposes different systems of representation—mathematical, photographic, linguistic, notational—in order to reveal individual fallacies and collective poignancy. This focused, collection-based survey follows Dia’s recent acquisition of a body of work by Gaines. The exhibition brings the artist’s first mathematically determined grid drawings and early experiments with transcribing photographic images into numerical notations together with more recent investigations into how image, identity, and language are represented and deconstructed.
Gaines began incorporating the grid into his work—an important formal device in modern art movements such as Minimalism—in the early 1970s. In conversation with artists who he first encountered in New York City, such as Hanne Darboven and Sol LeWitt (with whom he developed a close friendship), Gaines began using serial calculations and systematic procedures to create work that at once resists subjective expression and cultivates ambiguity. As the artist explains, “I looked for tropes, like mathematics, that do not privilege the creative unconscious. Through ‘systems’ I could go where the imagination couldn’t and bring things that otherwise would not be thought about to light. Out of this I began using the grid.”
Gaines’s first grid works, the Regression series, consists of four groups of seven drawings each determined by a set of mathematical combinations whose values are transcribed onto grids and recalibrated into abstract shapes. A cascading computational system of numbers generates the works and produces forms that sequentially expand and contract like waves. Abstraction and order converge in these drawings, which prefigure the artist’s later interests in speech and sound. Taking Regression: Drawings #1–7, Group #2 (recently acquired by Dia) as its point of departure, this exhibition explores the complex production of meaning that emerges in Gaines’s metonymical practice.
Alongside the Regressions, Dia will present selections from Gaines’s Walnut Tree Orchard, Faces, and Shadows series. In the wake of Gaines’s first experimentations with the grid, these works use color-coded numerical extrapolations of photographs that are layered into gridded drawings. What begins as indexical mapping crescendos into an abstraction, which belies the technical precision and presumed objectivity of the photographic form and creates space for multiple representational structures to exist at once.
Since the early 2000s, Gaines’s practice has come to encompass sculpture, video, sound, and performance. He continues to probe the liminal space that emerges from the juxtaposition of different structures of meaning, particularly music and language. However, these newer works reveal an increased and explicit preoccupation with the complex relationship between aesthetics and social justice. Dia’s exhibition will include a work from Gaines’s Librettos: Manuel de Falla/Stokeley Carmichael series, which plots the text of a Carmichael speech over the score for de Falla’s tragic opera La vida breve (1904–05). Black Ghost Blues Redux (2008), a video work made by Gaines in collaboration with Hoyun Son, will be accessible on Dia’s website throughout the run of the exhibition.
Intervals 1, 2019
recently acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland
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