Bridget Riley

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Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

While some of her work is literally stunning, other paintings are metaphorically so. They are simply marvellous and uplifting. This is especially true for a painting like ‘Song of Orpheus 5’ (1978) and ‘Ease’ (1987). Some of the large work from recent years which uses blues and greens, or yellows and blues comes close to the freedom, the vision and the purity of what Matisse achieved in the cut-out paintings of his last years. The creation of limits has given way to a sort of freshness, an openness; there is a magnificent tension between what flows and pours into the light and what is controlled and distilled, kept in check. Thus Riley’s recent paintings have a new, hard-won dynamic, an unpredictable wisdom which makes them fascinating.

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