Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Homage to Bridget Riley

Bridget Louise Riley CH CBE, though I have no idea what the CH or the CBE stand for - something very grand in the feudal hierarchy of monarchist Britain I presume, which is deeply ironic, because nobody was more anti-establishment than Ms Riley - you can read her full biography at by clicking here.

I was born in 1955, the same year that she was reborn, after nursing her father through the aftermath of a terrible car crash, and then mentally crashing herself. The work that emerged from that rebirth is simply staggering, and came as a consequence of seeing the first ever exhibition of American Abstract Expressionist painters in England, though it was really the Impressionist Seurat who most influenced her. Pure geometry, often in plain black-and-white, though nothing is ever plain when Riley sets her craft to it - optical illusions of every unimaginable as well as palpably imaginable kind, and far, far harder to create than might appear at first glance. Some of her narrow strips of colour resurfaced in my own Human Spectrum 2, but this was simply an attempt to work out how the magician performed her tricks, by seeing if I could do one of my own.

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