Text by Michael Bracewell, Robert Kudielka, and Bridget Riley
Bridget Riley is that rare instance of an artist whose work breaks free of art history and merges with the broader cultural imagination, yet preserves for itself a rigorous, focused dialogue with painting’s most basic properties: the interaction of form and color. Produced in close collaboration with the artist, Flashback tracks Bridget Riley’s career from its sensational beginnings in the early 1960s, at the helm of Op art, to the ambitious and powerful paintings and works on paper of recent years. Alongside a wealth of reproductions of works from 1961 to 2007, it also features an illustrated chronology and list of works in U.K. public collections, an essay by Michael Bracewell, and a wonderful meditation by Riley, titled “Work,” in which she looks back on the curve of her art across the decades. “You cannot deal with thought directly outside practice as a painter,” she writes: “‘doing’ is essential in order to find out what form your thought takes.” Flashback reveals Riley’s achievement in all its energetic glory, surveyable in one concise volume.