Although Bridget Riley’s bold, rhythmic abstractions are emblematic of the Op Art craze of the 1960s—examining the reversible figure-ground relationship, perceptual vibrations, and hypnotic appeal—her intense, rigorous works span more than this short-lived moment in art history. This single-gallery exhibition, Riley’s first solo presentation at an American museum in nearly 15 years, features the Art Institute’s own Ascending and Descending Hero (1963/65), an important early canvas, alongside an immersive, spiral-shaped sculpture, Continuum (1962/2005)—on view for the first time in the United States—that was, in many respects, the inspiration for the museum’s painting. The installation also includes two of her iconic “stripe” paintings, offering insight into the artist’s changing notions of spectacle and spectatorship.
Sponsors This exhibition is generously supported by Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and William Wolf.
Bridget Riley. Ascending and Descending Hero, 1963/65. Gift of Society for Contemporary Art.