"Britain’s greatest abstract painter—some might say our greatest living artist period—has remained a resolute enigma. You can look in vain at Riley’s paintings—with their endless acres of stripes, curves and what, for want of a better term, we’ll call wavy lines—for the slightest detail concerning her life or personality. What does become every apparent, however, in her biggest exhibition in Scotland to date (and one of her largest anywhere) is her obsessive drive to draw the absolute maximum—the universal, in fact—from the relatively limited set of visual ideas she has made her territory. And it’s been that way, it seems, from the very beginning.
Comprising 81 prime works, spanning eight decades, from her early preoccupation with the French pointillist Georges Seurat through her pivotal op art period to works created by the 88-year-old painter only last year, it begins with a surprise, hidden away in an underground gallery where you could easily miss it: an array of Riley’s earliest works, starting with life drawings done while she was a pupil at Cheltenham Ladies College. There’s nothing juvenile about these works. Riley’s rigour and instinct to probe into visual form are already evident in these highly competent, very traditional drawings."
Read the full review in The Telegraph
Image: Bridget Riley, Cascando, 2015
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