Bridget Riley at the De La Warr Pavilion

The Curve Paintings 1961 – 2014

Oscillating, throbbing, pulsing and confounding the eyes - Bridget Riley's paintings and preparatory works in this exhibition span more than half a century. A pre-eminate British contemporary artist, this show focuses on a theme or motif that she has worked with off and on for the vast majority of her career. There are examples of tight monochrome curves from the mid-sixties through colour fields and more gentle waves from the nineties and then the re-introduction of more verticals lines from which bends tilt and slip since the turn of the century. 

Untitled (Right Angle Curve), 1966

Untitled (Right Angle Curve), 1966

Many of the pieces on display come from private collections and this show demonstrates with wonderful generosity some of the workings, calculations and experiments behind the paintings by presenting works on paper – themes, lines and extensions continue off page, beyond the frame, where the paintings would go if they were to continue. These are suggestions of the thousands of hours and variants and choices made each time before committing to a final canvas. It is a demonstration of the pursuit of perfection,  before the presentation of it.

Installation view, 2015

Installation view, 2015

Rajasthan is presented as a wall drawing in a new range of colours facing out to the English Channel. The light is changeable, so too the way the art reacts to it. There are parallels with the UK's first Modernist listed building and it's shapely design, mirrors of the changing seascapes and coastal horizons with the frisson and frictions caused by Riley's choice of competing hues, of which colour sits next to which. 

Rajasthan, 2012

Rajasthan, 2012

The exhibition travels on to The Hague in the Autumn but the De La Warr Pavilion plays the perfect host and the breadth of the work here more than justifies a special visit. The rhythms and pace of these pieces exude real feeling, a sensation more physical than just being seen, more forceful than any reproduction facilitates. 

Towards 'Lagoon' 1997

Towards 'Lagoon' 1997

http://www.dlwp.com/event/bridget-riley-the-curve-paintings until September 6th