Saturday, 25 January 2020

Bridget Riley

From Here, (1994) detail

'Looking is, I feel, a vital aspect of existence. Perception constitutes our awareness of what it is to be human, indeed what it is to be alive.' - Bridget Riley 

I really enjoyed my visit to this Bridget Riley retrospective as there was so much to learn from the artists work, although the awkward layout of the gallery spaces in the Hayward made it appear to be a disjointed experience, where the viewer is forced to jump back and forth between different periods of Riley's career. A more fitting space would I thought, have been either of the Tate galleries in London. Despite this, the quality of work on display makes it a very good exhibition, full of many surprises not the least the chance to discover the earlier representational, figurative works from Riley's youth before she made the leap to pure abstraction. It was a pleasure to see the influence of Seurat's work on her output. The development of her excercises in pattern and colour were really pleasing and dazzlingly to the eye, confusing the visual senses with dynamic optical tricks to create a sensation of movement. This survey contains work from all phases of Riley's career beginning with the strong graphic shapes of her black and white work from the 1960s, to the cool coloured stripes of the 1980s, through to the disruptive diagonals of the 1990s and the softer more sensual curves of the noughties, demonstrating just how strong an artist Riley actually is. There was lots for me to take from this show, as I saw parallels between the rhythms of some of Riley's 1970s works, and those of some of the pieces that I began developing last year. Watch this space, and visit this vibrant, vital exhibition, it's the perfect antidote to a grey London winter.

Composition with Circles 4, 2004 (installation)

Continuum, 1963-2005

Ra, 1981

 Chant 2, 1967

 Chant 2, 1967 (detail)

 Paean, 1973

Paean, 1973 (detail)

From Here, 1994

High Sky, 1991

November, 1990

Justinian, 1988

Quiver 3, (Wall Painting), 2014

 Tremor, 1962

Where, 1964

Loss, 1964

Pause, 1964

 Fission, 1963

Crest, 1964

Crest, 1964 (detail)

Untitled (Fragments 1-6), 1965

Horizontal Vibration, 1961

Blaze 1, 1962

Climax, 1963

Shuttle 2, 1964

This section of early and preparatory works in the exhibition was really informative and revelatory.

I loved this eccentric visitors' monochromatic, dress and beautiful silver coat.

Early Riley figurative works.

The influence of Seurat.

 Persephone 2, 1970

Persephone 2, 1970 (detail)

 Clepsydra, 1976

 Clepsydra, 1976 (detail)

 Cataract 3, 1967

Cataract 3, 1967 (detail)

 Streak 2, 1979

Streak 2, 1979 (detail)

 Rajasthan, 2012 (installation view)

Rajasthan, 2012 (installation view)
Two Greens and Blue, 2000

Painting with Verticals 3, 2006

Red with Red 1, 2007

RĂªve, 1999

Bridget Riley
until 26th January 2020
Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre