June 13th – July 25th, 2014 24 Grafton Street, London W1S 4EZ www.davidzwirner.com
Opening today at David Zwirner an exhibition by British artist Bridget Riley organized in collaboration with Karsten Schubert. Featuring paintings and studies selected from all periods of her career, from 1961 to 2014, the show will be installed throughout the three floors of the gallery, making it the artist’s first major survey in London since her 2003 retrospective at Tate Britain.
“Bridget Riley is undoubtedly one of the world’s most significant artists working today and her influence on present and future generations cannot be underestimated,” says David Zwirner. “I am honoured to be able to show such a definitive selection of her stripe work in my London gallery.”
Riley’s dedication to the interaction of form and colour has led to a continued exploration of perception. From the early 1960s, she has used elementary shapes such as lines, circles, curves, and squares to create visual experiences that actively engage the viewer, at times triggering optical sensations of vibration and movement. Focusing on her recurrent use of stripes over the past fifty years, the exhibition demonstrates the visual variety she achieves by changes in colour, weight, rhythm, and density. Opening with an iconic black-and-white, horizontal stripe painting from 1961, the show includes her first stripe works in colour from later that decade, as well as a large two-panel diagonal stripe painting, Prairie (1971/2003), and vertical stripe works from the 1980s that demonstrate her “Egyptian” palette. The survey finishes with the artist’s newest body of horizontal stripes, including several paintings that have never been exhibited before. Works on paper related to the paintings are also on view.
The show presents a select and illuminating overview of Riley’s practice, which first achieved widespread international acclaim with the 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Riley has returned to stripes at crucial moments in her career, demonstrating their significance for her overall engagement with form, colour, and perception. As shown at the gallery, their varied palettes, tempos, and sizes further testify to the importance of nature in the artist’s work, which she understands as “the dynamism of visual forces—an event rather than an appearance”. Inspired by painters of the past including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse, Riley’s abstract innovations offer a groundbreaking way of looking.
About the Artist
Born in London in 1931, Bridget Riley attended Goldsmiths College from 1949 to 1952 and the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. In 1974, she was made a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and in 1999, appointed the Companion of Honour. In 1968, she won the International Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale. In 2005, the artist was awarded the Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo. She received the Kaiser Ring of the City of Goslar, Germany in 2003 and the Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen, Germany in 2012.
Read Jackie Wullschlager’s interview with Bridget Riley in the FT
Special Events in London
Public talk with Bridget Riley at Tate Modern
Saturday, June 21, 2 PM
Bridget Riley will discuss Henri Matisse’s cut-outs at Tate Modern. The event coincides with the museum’s exhibition Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (April 17th – September 7th, 2014). Tickets £12. Contact Tate Modern.
Book launch and signing with Bridget Riley and Robert Kudielka at David Zwirner
Monday, June 23, 6 – 8 PM
A revised and expanded edition of Robert Kudielka on Bridget Riley: Essays and Interviews since 1972 (Ridinghouse), first published in 2005, will be launched at the gallery during the exhibition. Free and open to the public. For more information and to reserve signed copies (numbers are limited, please note there is a maximum of two copies per person), contact Electra Soutzoglou firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brown’s London Art Weekend
Special weekend hours: Saturday, July 5 (10 AM – 5 PM) & Sunday, July 6 (12 PM – 5 PM)
David Zwirner will participate in this inaugural “open house” weekend where over 80 Mayfair galleries and auction houses will open their doors to the public for tours, talks, and other programs.