In the 1960s Riley broke through the glass ceiling with a new language of measured abstraction that ran Abstract Expressionist painting right out of town. For this show Riley is up to her old tricks of mathematical precision and pure form, but with a series of new works from the last four years – proving that this 86 year-old still has some discombobulating left to do.
Bridget Riley: Recent Paintings 2014-2017 Installation view, David Zwirner Gallery
Heading upstairs, the mood of the exhibition shifts and Riley turns her attention away from triangles and back to the discs that first made an appearance during the 1960s. In a series called Measure for Measure Riley toys with an array of circles in pastel purple, green and pink that take a leaf out of the book of her heyday, but adds a new twist. Ordered into careful grids on the walls, the circles seem to dance across the gallery a little like PAC-MEN on the loose.
Up to the final floor and the discs seem to have taken on a life of their own, bouncing off the walls with an energy that simply can’t be kept in check. In each of these paintings Riley makes small changes to the composition of circles and arrangement of colour to alter their sensation entirely. This reveals Riley’s genius when it comes to colour and points a big arrow to the influence of Neo-Impressionist painters like Georges Seurat who used dots of pure tone in their own dabbles with optics.
For her third solo outing with the
international powerhouse David Zwirner, Riley makes a splash with new works
that aren’t just shadows of her former self, but psychedelic triumphs in their
own right. While it’s fair to say this show would have earned our respect come what
may, it’s a delight to find Riley still at her most dazzling.
|What||Bridget Riley exhibition, David Zwirner Gallery|
|Where||David Zwirner, 24 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
19 Jan 18 – 10 Mar 18, Closed Sundays and Mondays
|Website||Please click here for more information|