Bridget Riley’s new work at Pace Wildenstein

Veteran Op artist Bridget Riley‘s new paintings are leafy flourishes that play with your eyes in their own two-dimensional way. Famous for her black and white retina-warping canvases from the sixties, these new works are dominated by blues and greens and easily breathe in the whole loft-like space of Pace Wildenstein‘s 57th Street gallery.Filled with her characteristic (though now more subdued) eye-straining acrobatics, the only flaw (if I can call it that) is that the works are almost too friendly, which make them more wallpaper-like than perhaps the artist intended.

The most interesting tidbit I overheard at the opening was that the effect-obsessed artist has her work reproduced in her catalogues with colors that don’t resemble the originals. Why? So that the images (original & reproduction) both have the same effect. The artist thinks that reducing a large painting into a postcard-sized plate changes the color and more importantly its impact.

I wonder if she’s right.

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Pace’s Chelsea space on 25th Street is also exhibiting a batch of her work but I couldn’t get down there fast enough before they closed the doors for a private event. From what I could see through the glass, it was pretty much more of the same.

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