Max Hetzler

Bridget Riley

Measure for Measure

18 Oct - 25 Nov 2017

Installation view
Measure for Measure
New Disc Paintings
18 October – 25 November 2017

Galerie Max Hetzler Paris is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent works by Bridget Riley. This is her second solo show in our Paris gallery, and her third show in Paris counting her survey exhibition in 2008 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

The exhibition focuses upon Bridget Riley’s most recent works, the Disc series. Two wall paintings and eight canvases with muted colours will be on view.

Internationally acclaimed artist Bridget Riley has radically pursued an inquiry into the constituent elements of painting for over 50 years, exploring the active role of perception in art. The British artist started her experimentations at the very beginning of the 1960s with a series of black and white paintings in which she ingenuously arranged elementary abstract shapes - such as circles, curves, stripes - so as to create a feeling of depth and movement that would cause disorientation to the viewer’s eye.

In 1965, Riley was invited to show her work along with Joseph Albers, Max Bill, Enrico Castellani, Robert Irwin, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Ad Reinhardt and other artists in The Responsive Eye, a major exhibition that was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The event led to instant international recognition of her optical focus. The artist never claimed to be part of any group. During Op Art’s greatest success in the mid-1960s, Riley stressed the originality of her process that had no direct link with science. Not long afterwards, she started to explore the properties of colours. Influenced by Cézanne and Seurat, her works can be seen as the outcome of these masters’ concerns. Her paintings seem to flicker, to pulsate and to convey an internal life.

Riley’s first wall painting was made further to a 1979 commission from the Royal Liverpool Hospital for which she had conceived a plan that featured horizontal bands of colour. The palette, just as the paintings she made at the time, was inspired by a trip to Egypt she made in 1981. In addition to several commissions, Riley has made wall drawings for different museum exhibitions and collections worldwide.

Rather than representing nature itself, Bridget Riley translates into painting the play of perceptions generated by the latter. 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 colour and form as ultimate identities, freeing them from all descriptive or functional roles.”

Throughout her career, Riley’s explorations of the possibilities of a particular template of colours and forms have led her to regularly return to shapes she has previously used so as to test them in different situations or on new materials such as vinyl rather than on canvas.

Riley has written significant essays that greatly influenced a younger generation of artists.

On October 6th, the Chinati Foundation (Marfa, Texas) will inaugurate a solo exhibition of wall paintings.

Bridget Riley (1931) lives and works in London, Cornwall and Provence. In 2012, she was awarded the Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen and the Sikkens Prize of the Sikkens Foundation, Rotterdam, as well as the Goslar Award for Modern Art in 2009 and the Praemium Imperiale of the Japan Art Association in 2003. Her work is included in the collections of numerous international museums including Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

Riley has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows including Gemeentemuseum, The Hague
(2016); The Courtauld Institute, London (2015); The Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014); The Art Institute, Chicago (2014); National Gallery, London (2010); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2008); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/M. (2007); ZKM – Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2005); Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2005); San Diego Museum of Art (2004); Tate Britain, London (2003); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2000); Serpentine Gallery, London (1999); Venice Biennale (1986); National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (1980); Kunstverein Hannover (1970); Documenta VI (1977) and Documenta IV, Cassel (1968); Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), New York (1965).

A catalogue featuring an essay by Éric de Chassey will accompany the exhibition.

Tags: Max Bill, Enrico Castellani, Robert Irwin, IRWIN, Ad Reinhardt, Bridget Riley