Bridget Riley: A Very, Very Person. The Early Years.

 
9781909932500: Bridget Riley: A Very, Very Person. The Early Years.
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In January 1965 the international art world converged on New York to pay homage to a brilliant new star. The glittering opening of The Responsive Eye, a major exhibition of abstract painting at the Museum of Modern Art, signalled the latest phenomenon, op art--and its center of attention was a young painter named Bridget Riley, whose dazzling painting Current appeared on the cover of the catalogue. Riley's first solo show in New York sold out, and, following a feature in Vogue magazine, the Riley "look" became a fashion craze. Overnight, she had become a sensation, yet only three years earlier, she was a virtual unknown. How did success arrive so suddenly?

Authored by the acclaimed curator and writer Paul Moorhouse, A Very Very Person is the first biography of Bridget Riley and addresses that tantalizing question. Focusing on her early years, it tells the story of a remarkable woman whose art and life were entwined in surprising ways. This intimate narrative explores Riley's wartime childhood spent in the idyllic Cornish countryside, her subsequent struggles to find her way as an artist, and the personal challenges she faced before finally arriving as one of the world's most celebrated artists in Swinging 1960s London.

Paul Moorhouse is is an art historian and curator. He was Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London (2005-17) and Senior Curator at Tate, London (1985-2005), where he curated a major Bridget Riley retrospective exhibition in 2003. Recent books include Cindy Sherman (2014), Bridget Riley: From Life (2010), the award-winning Gerhard Richter: Painting Appearances (2009), Pop Art Portraits (2007) and Richard Long: Walking the Line (2003).

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Review:

An exceptionally informative and deftly crafted biography of an impressive woman and her equally impressive artistic accomplishments, "Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person: The Early Years" features a center section of illustrations and is an extraordinary and engaging read from beginning to end.--Julie Summers "Midwest Book Review "

In "Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person--The Early Years," Paul Moorhouse, a former senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London, doesn't attempt a full-scale biography but instead homes in on the period between the artist's childhood and her earliest success, and makes a surprising but compelling case for the influence of landscape on Ms. Riley's distinctive style.--Ann Landi "Wall Street Journal "

As Paul Moorhouse shows in this thorough and sensitive first biography, which concentrates on her early years up to the age of thirty-four, it was only after many false starts, bracing shocks and firm decisions that Riley found her way as an abstract painter in the early 1960s with her eye-dazzling lines, squares, curves, ovals, circles, stripes and zigzags in ultra-hard-edged black-and-white.--Jerome Boyd Maunsell "Times Literary Supplement "

[A Very Very Person] is an entertaining and informative text that adds greatly to our understanding of a very prominent and still highly intriguing British artist.--Hyperallergic

The first biography of Bridget Riley... addresses the tantalizing question: How did success arrive so suddenly for the young artist?--Artspace

Paul Moorhouse's well-researched, lucid new biography, Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person (Ridinghouse, 2019) may help reveal to a broad audience the full scope and richness of her unusual, distinctive oeuvre.--Edward Gomez "Hyperallergic "

[Bridget Riley: A Very Very Person] explores her journey from British wartime beginnings to her rise as darling of the New York art world--and one of the most famous proponents of op art in the world.--Emily Gosling "Elephant "

Riley's work, which at first appears to be a collection of simple patterns, rewards sustained, careful looking; her work's genius lies in the way her compositions gradually reveal a vital, dynamic interplay of shape and color. Yet Riley's considerations reach far beyond the tricks and treats of optical games, urging viewers to rethink the way they see.--Alina Cohen "Arsty "

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