new-york

Bridget Riley

Richard Feigen Gallery

As early as the 1920s, in the workshops of the Bauhaus, students and masters experimented with the dual potential of black-white design elements. These, they found, would affirm and hold the flatness of the ground that supported them, since that very ground would be incorporated into the surface pattern of the work; in addition a richly shifting spatiality developed in which, as an example, Bauhaus white letters would jump off the page in strong relief against their black-cast shadows, but could alternately be read as concave forms etched into the fictive depth of the paper. All this was accomplished without recourse to modeling, that is, with out adulterating the boldness of either the decorative effect with intermediary greys or the illusionistic effect with any obvious mechanisms of three-dimensional projection.

Since 1960, Bridget Riley’s art has been constituted on these same grounds,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.