A rare opportunity to purchase such an iconic work by Riley.
Riley is one of the most significant living artists and her work has radically explored the active role of perception in art, using the interrelationship between line and colour to convey movement and light within the pictorial field.
This is one of Riley’s most complex and beautiful works and is very hard to find now.
Riley first attracted critical attention with the dazzling black and white paintings she began to make in 1961. These works became celebrated for their energising and disorientating optical effects (for which the term ‘Op Art’ was coined), as well as for their undeniable and surprising beauty. She established a new relationship between the observer and a work of art. Op Art captured the imagination of the public and became part of the swinging sixties. The fashion, design and advertising industries fell in love with its graphic, sign-like patterns and decorative value. Op Art was cool, and Bridget Riley became Great Britain’s number one art celebrity.
Her participation in the seminal exhibition, The Responsive Eye, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965, established her as an artist of the first rank. This position was confirmed at the Venice Biennale in 1968 when she became the first British contemporary painter and the first woman to win the International Prize for painting. Today Riley’s paintings fetch many millions of pounds. Her output was very limited in all art forms by comparison with many artists of her stature.
“I couldn’t get near what I wanted through seeing, recognizing and recreating, so I stood the problem on its head. I started studying squares, rectangles, triangles and the sensations they give rise to… It is untrue that my work depends on any literary impulse or has any illustrative intention. The marks are sole and essential agents in a series of relationships which form the structure of the painting.” (Bridget Riley)
The title ‘Fragments’ is significant in that most of the prints consist of images which the artist arrived at through making studies for paintings. (She was at this period working almost exclusively in black and white). In selecting Plexiglas as the ground Riley was clearly interested in setting a dense black image upon an intensely white and brilliant surface.