Bridget Riley Plays With Perception in Massive Wall Art Exhibition

Op Art pioneer Bridget Riley is showcasing a series of her emphatic wall paintings at Galerie Max Hetzler‘s Potsdamer Straße location in Berlin. The show will consist of 13 works in total, more than half of which have been loaned out from public collections from around the world.

For over 60 years, Riley has interrogated what it means to see. By distilling perception to its constituent elements — color and shape, light and shadow, composition and depth — the British artist has challenged the traditions of painting and the very notion of representation. By the late-1960s, Riley had started experimenting with the relationship between minimal color palettes on a colossal scale — an inquiry that persists to this day.

Each wall artwork looks deceptively simple, but reveals itself to the onlooker as the viewer begins to frantically decode the riddles she overlays on the wall. Works such as Dancing to the Music of Time (2022), which Riley created for the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, guides the eye along a similar path as one would observe a constellation of stars in space.

Arcadia 2 and Arcadia 3 hark to the cutouts of Henri Matisse, where Riley’s shapes blend into one another like a rhythmic dance that soothes the eye. At the core of her ongoing practice, Riley “remind us that we need painting to understand the exhilaration of seeing,” wrote German journalist, Julia Voss. Catch Wall Works 1983–2023 as its on view in Berlin until August 19.

Elsewhere, British artist Jazz Grant created an immersive collage mural honoring Jay-Z.

Galerie Max Hetzler
Potsdamer Str. 77-87
10785 Berlin, Germany
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