The ‘zig’ paintings occupied Riley throughout the late 80s and 90s and resulted in a series of paintings with sharply articulated lines, a multitude of densities and unstable areas of refracting light. The complexity of the colour relationships in these works is formidable. Some of the colours exist in as many as twenty different shades in a single painting. A principal difficulty of this kind of composition is that of creating a unified and balanced field of visual sensation, which, at the same time, is organised dynamically in terms of individual colours. The position of each of these elements is carefully judged in terms of correspondence, contrast and proportion. This creates what Riley, who is herself a wonderful and profound writer on colour and perception, describes as the ‘repetition, contrast, calculated reversal and counterpoint’ that ‘parallels the basis of our emotional structure’ (The Artist, 'Perception is the Medium' (1965), reprinted in Robert Kudielka (ed.), The Eye's Mind - Bridget Riley, Collected Writings 1965-1999, Thames and Hudson, London,1999, p.66).
The Ivy painting demonstrates Riley's success in relating similar and contrasting colours in a way that sustains a saturated intensity of colour across the entire picture plane. It is executed on a smaller scale than most in the ‘zig’ paintings. In fact, Riley may have purposefully made it this size with its position in the restaurant in mind. It hung above table 32, on the ground floor. Its composition seems to mirror the diamond-shaped lattice and brilliant colour of the restaurant’s iconic stained glass windows, which flanked either side of the panelled wall on which the painting hung. The present picture must be one of Riley’s last ‘zig’ paintings, as towards the end of the 1990s she began to soften and curve the sharp angles. The forms become larger. Extreme close-ups of the winding helices of the 1960s ‘wave’ works are now refracted though a counterpoint vertical geometry, the same underlying grid of verticals and diagonals that Riley has always used to construct her work now brought to the surface.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Vedi L'Asta In Diretta