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Bridget Riley at the Musée d'Art Moderne Paris

First retrospective in France of Bridget Riley, visible at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris until 21 September. The British painter bases since the 1960's abstract works based on the methodical exploration of the optical effects of color, contrast black and white form. In fact, Bridget Riley works in the spirit of Vasarely through what is called "op'art" artistic movement for which there is these days a strong renewed interest, aesthetic and financial. The program of this beautiful event nearly 70 paintings and fifty drawings for us to measure the visual relevance of this line of research. The first part of the exhibit (including Blaze and Movement square) is simply captivating and moving from one canvas to another grabbed by the optical process that can sometimes lead to an impossible vision. In 1965, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presents the exhibition The Responsive Eye (eye reagent). An abstract painting which, by games of geometric shapes and intensity of tone, titillates the retina. The Time magazine gave him the name of Op Art, an "optical art" brain in opposition to Pop art incarnate. Alongside a Victor Vasarely, a rising star: Bridget Riley. The exhibition propels the young English into the international scene (she gets the prize for painting at the 34th Venice Biennale in 1968). And it makes the point that popular shops in New York the copy for their psyche dresses (she intentera unsuccessfully a lawsuit for plagiarism).  On the criticism, Bridget Riley will have his work for a long time reduced to a glossy virtuosity, even aggressive. The retrospective of the Museum of Modern Art de la Ville de Paris offers a superb opportunity to correct this vision. Admittedly, there admire the period Op art, black and white, with its tremendous bending optical: Blaze 3 (1963), the "brilliance" spiral, or Loss ( "Loss", 1964), where large peas fade into a monochrome gray. But the Paris exhibition that especially recalls Bridget Riley is a painter of pure sensation. In the countdown to the image of cold programmer and away from any social project defended by an Op art, heir to the Bauhaus. Here is an artist, not so much that synesthetic formalistic, which is revealed to us. It is immediately plunged into the visual experience and only midterm that presented the biography of the artist. An immersion proves that we often wrongly rejected abstraction side of the intellect. "Because any object in relation to us is feeling," said Proust. And its great reader Riley not to contradict him: "My paintings are concerned, of course, generate visual sensations, but certainly not at the expense of emotion. One of my goals is that these two responses are experienced as a single thing. "(1) Ondulations vibration of Fall (" Falling ", 1963), where one feels as fresh attraction of emptiness; triangles frissonnants of Tremor ( "Frémir, 1962) or exquisite Kiss (" Kiss ", 1961), as a close-up of a round black covering a square black and revealing the infinite curvature of desire. If the art of Riley has a lot to Klee and Mondrian (which it has mounted exhibitions, respectively, the Tate Gallery in 1997 and the Hayward Gallery in 2002), it draws at the beginning of his journey in the neo-impressionism of Seurat. Bridget Riley, born in London in 1931, is the generation that still enjoys drawing lessons from nature. The imitation as an exercise and reflection. The copy of the Bridge of Courbevoie Seurat, with its keys bigger, not only betrays both the interest of its author for the pointillist technique of the original process that the thought of french teacher. In painting, while only contrasts. And what's more mixed than black and white? After Pink Landscape ( "Landscape roses, 1960), which explodes the pink light of a landscape of Siena, Riley made his famous blackboards and white.  But "the feeling is not a question of style." And do not forget where is the artist: the home of Turner, the painter atmosphere, and where she spent her childhood: the rural Cornwall where his eye had s'aiguiser in contact with nature.  End of the years 1970, Bridget Riley applies the cross-over: the bands of color twisted overlap successively, the Curve Paintings ( "Paintings curves"), whose song Orpheus 3 modulations of the delicate purple, pink, green , Yellow. After a detour to the diamond (1986-1997), she returned to our greatest happiness to the curve. Red with Red 1, 2007 convenes, with a bold freshness, the excitement of Kiss in black and white. The abstraction from Bridget Riley is always up to a point: "If you want a painting is Work, which aspires to the work of art, it is obliged to express the content of existence. We can not escape the palpitation changing our experience. […] The art should express the urgency and failure, love and inadequacy leading human activity. 

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