A Deliberate and Reflective Aesthetic: Bridget Riley in the USA

  • Rachel Stratton

When Bridget Riley’s painting Current (1964) appeared on the catalogue cover for the exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1965, this relatively young British artist was suddenly thrust into the limelight (fig. 1). By including Riley and other European artists, the museum sought to legitimize the exhibition’s claims of internationalism and New York’s status as the center of the contemporary art world (even though the checklist was dominated by US artists).1 The title of Riley’s work, with its dual allusion to energetic movement and the present moment, situated the viewing experience in the here and now, time and space. Similarly, the pulsating waves coursing across the picture gave the impression that the eye was being “bombarded with pure energy,” as the curator, William Seitz, described it.2 No prior art knowledge was required to experience the work’s full effect — in fact, the sensorial response it stimulated was so visceral that it was likened to the altered state of consciousness induced by taking hallucinogenic drugs.3

Expand Expand Figure 1
The Responsive Eye exhibition catalogue, The Museum of Modern Art, 1965

Skeptics about The Responsive Eye, such as Thomas Hess at Art News, derided Riley and so-called optical art for democratizing and, in his mind, devaluing the aesthetic experience.4 His review labeled Riley’s work as part of international “Op art” — a loose term used to describe works that manipulated visual perception — which was hailed by its proponents for propagating a universal visual experience that transcended national, class, and racial boundaries. Riley resisted this populist characterization and the Op art label for similar reasons as Hess and has, throughout her career, stressed her identity as a painter whose craft is born from within the subjective self.

Riley’s meteoric rise to fame in 1965 was also fraught with the co-optation of her paintings by the fashion industry, which she neither consented to nor approved. In her defiance, Riley expressed opposing views from many other so-called Op artists at the time — not least, the Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely, who openly courted collaborations with textile firms. At every turn, Riley has resisted attempts to pigeonhole her work and rejected associations with European Op art, British Pop art, and even, in the 1970s, feminism. Thus, the appearance of Current on the cover of the catalogue for The Responsive Eye was, from the outset, a double-edged sword: it afforded the piece enormous visibility yet subjected Riley’s oeuvre to populist interpretation.

Although the splash Riley made at MoMA led to a productive expansion of her US career, it was not the first time her paintings had been shown in the United States. Between 1964 and 1966, her work was included in no fewer than sixteen exhibitions at museums and commercial galleries across the country. A letter from Riley to the American educator and photographer Rose Gerlach, dated 1964 (now in the archives of the Yale Center for British Art), reveals Riley’s enthusiasm to promote her work in the United States and her excitement for her forthcoming solo exhibition at Richard Feigen Gallery in 1965.5 Like The Responsive Eye, many of the shows in which Riley’s pieces were included positioned her work within a transcultural network of abstract art, for which the United States was the gateway.

A number of exhibitions at that time reflected trends in Op art, for example, Motion and Movement in 1964 at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and Kinetic and Optic Art Today in 1965 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo — both of which paralleled The Responsive Eye in prioritizing works that transformed passive spectators into active participants.6 Although as equally international in scope as MoMA’s exhibition, the shows in Cincinnati and Buffalo had a narrower focus. They drew attention to the phenomenon of kinetic art, which had developed through artist networks in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. In contrast, MoMA’s exhibition was ridiculed for conflating multiple practices under the generic “Op” banner. There was much crossover in the artists represented in these three exhibitions, but only the British Riley, the Polish-American Julian Stanczak, and the Japanese-American Tadasuke Kuwayama had work in all three shows — evidence of their remarkable ability to transcend the different but related international groupings included in each exhibition.

Expand Expand Figure 2
The New Generation exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1966

In December 1965, Sidney Janis included a piece by Riley in Pop & Op, an exhibition at his commercial gallery in New York City that aligned these movements through the inspiration they derived from popular culture.7 Yet, whereas Op art in the United States in the mid-1960s denoted internationalism and universalism, Pop art was associated with national identity, its origins considered at the time to be mainly American and British.8 In fact, it was through an association with British Pop art that Riley became known in the United States as a British artist. On numerous occasions, her work was shown within a specifically British context, as part of the cool “new generation” of artists emerging from London’s Royal College of Art — including Patrick Caulfield, David Hockney, Allen Jones, Phillip King, and Richard Smith. Through her inclusion in Bryan Robertson The New Generation exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Gallery in 1964, Riley became associated with this group, despite never fully participating in its vibrant party culture (fig. 2).9 This was the moment when the city gained its reputation for pop music, fashion, and art, drawing the attention of young US audiences and prompting the creation of the iconic Time magazine cover, “London: The Swinging City,” in April 1966.10

Expand Expand Figure 3
Bridget Riley with Continuum at Gallery One, London, 1963

In 1964 Riley’s work appeared in two US exhibitions about British art. The first was the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Contemporary British Painting, a broad showcase from Pop and Op artists to the St. Ives abstractionists and the modernist sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.11 Rule Britannia, the second show, took place at the commercial Feigen-Palmer Gallery in Los Angeles, focused on young, emerging artists, and displayed, for the first and only time on US soil, Riley’s walk-through installation Continuum. Continuum is unique in Riley’s oeuvre as the sole independent installation produced by the artist. Designed as a spiral with high walls painted in a variegated black-and-white arrowhead pattern, the work invited audiences to immerse themselves in the pulsing rhythms of Riley’s paintings (fig. 3).

The following year, London: The New Scene opened at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, repackaging The New Generation exhibitions in a showcase of thirteen of the “hippest” artists to emerge from London’s pop subcultures.12 Riley showed four of her black-and-white optical paintings — Dilated Centres (1963), Serif (1964), Pause (1964), and Amnesia (1964) — and was the only woman artist to be included (fig. 4). Although The New Scene presented London as a cultural hub, the selected artists embraced US culture and shared similar concerns with American artists about color, optics, commercial techniques, and popular culture — ultimately serving to reinforce the country’s cultural dominance.

Expand Expand Figure 4
London: The New Scene exhibition at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1965

In 1964, Martin Friedman, the director of the Walker Art Center, asked Riley in a questionnaire to account for the “strong interest” in London among US artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Barnett Newman, and Kenneth Noland. Riley’s response was succinct: their widespread appeal sprang from “an empathy with the direct statement, the economy of means, a deliberate and reflective aesthetic.”13 That her own work so wholly encapsulated these traits, with their repeating black-and-white forms and provocation of a visual experience preordained by the artist, reveals, in part, why Riley’s work gained such popularity in the United States. So powerfully did her work invite the unmediated visual experience, toward which US Pop, Op, and Color Field painting strived, that it became a must-have for museums and collectors across the country. In the work of this female artist from Britain, audiences experienced the full potential of the US postwar aesthetic: its forceful and forthright appeal to the senses.

The solo exhibition of Riley’s work launched by Richard Feigen in 1965 — initially at his New York gallery and later in Chicago and Los Angeles — was key to her market success across the country.14 The buzz around the show spread rapidly to the most prominent US contemporary art collectors, with works selling out before the gallery had even opened its doors to the public. The handwritten lists of collectors who called to buy Riley’s work read like a Who’s Who: Harry Abrams, Betty Blake, James and Lillian Clark, Charles Diker, Philip Johnson, Roy Rothschild Neuberger, and David Winton. Names familiar from the credit lines of museums across the country appear on the yellowed pages of the gallery’s records. Loss (1964) and Where (1964), two works from a series in which Riley varied the tone and dispersal of monochrome dots to create the impression of shifting weight, were among the most requested.

Emily Hall Tremaine, the influential collector of contemporary art, and her husband, Burton, bought two pieces from Richard Feigen Gallery in 1965: Balm (1964) and Turn (1964). During her lifetime, Tremaine amassed more than four hundred paintings that art historian Robert Rosenblum deemed “so museum-worthy that [her collection] alone could recount to future generations the better part of the story of 20th-century art.”15 Tremaine was also an ardent advocate for the artists she supported. In 1965, she staged an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art (now SFMoMA), in which Riley was represented by an untitled silkscreen print lent by Feigen.16 In an accompanying lecture, Tremaine praised Riley’s work for its “intelligence and skill” and compared it to that of the American artist Larry Poons, another “Op artist” she admired.17 Riley’s work, Tremaine declared, was more Apollonian and Poons’s Dionysian — the one more intellectual and the other emotional. Her classical frame of analysis extracted these artists’ works from the of-the-moment faddishness associated with Op art and initiated Riley and Poons into her collection of modern and contemporary art for the ages.

Tremaine was significant for Riley in a further way, for she and her husband owned Piet Mondrian’s final work, Victory Boogie Woogie (1944). Riley went to see it in the Tremaines’ New York apartment when she visited the city for the opening of The Responsive Eye and the Feigen show, reporting to Tremaine that this particular piece was “the greatest influence on her work.”18 Riley is outspoken about her admiration for Mondrian and his ability to combine the particulars of form and color with a universal aesthetic experience, something she has sought to carry into her own work.19 That her love for Mondrian was forged in the United States and in Europe is notable, for, in the former, Mondrian’s work — with all its directness of statement, economy of form, and color precision — was regarded as a forefather of postwar US art as well as a stalwart of European modernism. Riley positioned herself among Mondrian’s disciples and could, perhaps, in New York as nowhere else, see the trajectory of contemporary art: the direct lineage from Mondrian’s surety of form and space to that of the new generation of postwar artists — into which she had been initiated by the patronage of collectors like the Tremaines.

In addition to providing opportunities to develop relationships with her collectors, Riley’s 1965 trip afforded her the opportunity to meet and visit the studios of artists she admired. She was reunited there with fellow Briton and friend Allen Jones, who had moved to New York the previous year, and liaised with artists Jasper Johns, Ad Reinhardt, and others. Taken with Johns, Riley arranged to trade one of her “ellipse silkscreen” prints for one of his. Reinhardt showed her around New York City, and Vogue magazine photographed them together at the opening of The Responsive Eye. The next year, Riley collaborated with Reinhardt on the design of an issue of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s poetry magazine Poor Old Tired Horse.20

Expand Expand Figure 5
Ad Reinhardt, #21, 1958, 1958. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Susan Morse Hilles

Also in 1966, when Sam Wagstaff, then curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, inquired as to whether Reinhardt had met any “interesting English painters” (a question confirming how popular British artists must have been at the time), Reinhardt immediately put forward Riley.21 Riley’s Drift and Deny series, both produced in 1966 when she was back in Britain, are in dialogue with Reinhardt’s work from the late 1950s and early 1960s in the way they experiment with the dynamics of two similar tones of blue or gray, much as in paintings like #21, 1958 by Reinhardt (fig. 5). This suggests that Riley’s time in the United States looking at art and talking to artists deepened her interrogation of color relationships and complicated the questions she wished to ask of them. 

Riley clearly wanted her new work to be seen alongside that of her US peers. When asked by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s patron Seymour H. Knox Jr. and its director, Gordon Smith, to choose a work for the collection, she selected Drift 2. Smith wrote to Riley expressing his and Knox’s excitement at having a work that she had “chosen [herself] to represent [her] paintings.”22 After the enormous success of her black-and-white paintings in 1964 and 1965, her decision to send the gallery Drift 2 signaled to US audiences that her oeuvre was developing and a preoccupation with color relationships was to be her priority in the future. While works like Movement in Squares (1962) and Turn manipulated basic geometric forms (a square and a triangle) to create the impression of directional movement, Drift 2 settled on the uniform unit of the curve but varied the tones within curves to explore the instability and relativity of color perception.

By 1967, Riley had broken into full color with works such as Chant 2, Cataract 3, and Late Morning 1, organized around a tripartite system of two complementary colors with a third disruptive color that agitates the visual field and creates movement. These color paintings were among the new pieces that Riley showed in the British Pavilion at the 34th Venice Biennale in 1968, where she became the first woman to win the international prize for painting (fig. 6).23 As news of the award disseminated through press channels around the world, it amplified her fame globally. Also exhibiting at the British Pavilion was the sculptor Phillip King, whose steel structures shared formal and conceptual parallels with US Minimalism.

Expand Expand Figure 6
British Pavilion for the XXXIV Venice Biennale, 1968

That the British Council, which managed the selection, should choose two artists with a proven record of success in US exhibitions and whose work had affinities with postwar art in the United States is indicative of complex underlying politics. The Biennale, with its individually housed pavilions representing nation-states, had long become a microcosm of international relations. The selection of artists put forward by each country became symbols of its values as well as its artistic prowess. The exhibition of Riley and King aligned British and US aesthetics and, by extension, their values. At the same time, it flaunted Britain’s competitive cultural edge by presenting two artists who had broken into the US art market.

Concurrent with her exhibition in Venice, Riley’s work was also included in Documenta 4, the international exhibition held every four years in Kassel, Germany.24 The fourth edition gained the slogan, “the youngest Documenta ever,” because a committee of young curators was appointed to ensure democratic selection processes and promote the exhibition’s relevance.25 For the first year since the exhibition’s inception, retrospectives were abandoned; the art had to be recent or specially commissioned. The result was an exhibition dominated by artists from the United States, with Pop, Op, Minimalism, and Color Field painting taking center stage.

Expand Expand Figure 7
James Rosenquist, Fire Slide, 1967, at Documenta 4, 1968, in Kassel, West Germany

James Rosenquist’s Fire Slide (1967), which covered a double-height wall by the staircase, was one of the most talked-about pieces, exemplifying the enormous scale of US art, and it became a focal point for Documenta’s predominantly European audiences (fig. 7). Although Fragments (1964), the series of screen prints on Plexiglas that Riley exhibited at Documenta, did not match the scale of work by her US counterparts, it showed off her talent at utilizing commercial printing techniques and new materials — both important components of contemporary art in the United States.

In contrast, the works Riley produced for the Venice Biennale did compete in scale with US paintings. In Late Morning and Late Morning 1, Riley abandoned her modest square format for larger canvases (approximately 89 x 142 and 90 x 90 inches, respectively), which enhanced viewing experiences. While visiting New York in 1965, Riley had seen for herself the spacious but affordable loft studios that allowed her peers to work on such a great scale. Recognizing this deficiency in studio spaces in England, she cofounded (with Peter Sedgley) Space Studios in 1968, to assist artists in finding affordable studio spaces. Riley encouraged artists to think big, as she herself had after experiencing the absorbing impact of large paintings in the United States. The display of Fragments at Documenta demonstrated Riley’s affinity with US aesthetics and materials, but her paintings at the British Pavilion are what made a statement to the world that she could match the very best of US art in talent, exposure, and scale.

The Venice Biennale marked a high point in Riley’s international career to date, after which a lacuna of nearly a decade elapsed without an exhibition at a US gallery or museum. This interval was noted by Robertson in a 1975 review for Art in America of the first of two solo exhibitions of Riley’s recent work at Sidney Janis Gallery in New York (the second was in 1978).26 He pointed out that since her last show at Richard Feigen Gallery in 1967, US audiences had mainly consumed her work through reproductions, likely those of high-profile pieces such as Current and Late Morning. The result, he lamented, was that by the mid-1970s, “three-quarters of her life’s work [remained] unknown in America.”27

What is more, Riley’s paintings were still broadly associated with Op art, which, after a brief period of popularity in the 1960s, lost its appeal among US audiences. So, too, had the craze for British artists, as the New York art scene increasingly turned in on itself and London’s “swinging” reputation diminished in the face of the city’s economic decline. Neither Riley’s reputation as an Op artist nor her place in the “new generation” of British art truly captured the breadth and depth of her practice. As Robertson attested, however, the exhibition at Sidney Janis Gallery began to address this lack of knowledge about her wider oeuvre by highlighting her intense relationship with nature and varied art-historical influences — including the interest she displayed in Chinese scroll paintings in works like Ch’i Yün (1974) and Shih Li (1975).

The retrospective exhibition of Riley’s work mounted by the British Council in 1978 (and traveling until 1980) provided an opportunity to engage US audiences with the entire scope of her work. Riley traveled to Buffalo for the installation at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and later wrote to the museum’s director, Robert Buck Jr., to express her hope that the exhibition would reframe her work in the United States:

Since leaving Buffalo, from time to time I have been wondering how people will respond to my work now. It is curious that whilst my name is known, very few people know my work. So I hope this exhibition may redress the balance a little and that the vulgarity etc: associated with that awful populist “Op” label will be sufficiently distant to allow people to look more freely and see my painting for themselves.28

A review in the New York Times by Riley’s good friend John Russell suggests that her plea was successful. As Russell reported, the “Riley retrospective made it clear all over again that her connexion with Op Art was no more than coincidental.”29 The inclination to hold her work up to that of US artists remained, however, and Russell compared her large horizontal canvas Apprehend (1971) to Kenneth Noland’s similarly sized striped painting, Wild Indigo (1967), also on display at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (fig. 8). Interesting to note, Russell drew the same conclusion as Tremaine in her comparison of Riley with Poons, describing Riley’s work as “impersonal” and governed by an “ordered precision,” while Noland’s was considered “impetuous” and “wayward,” with an “outrageous ripeness.”30 Whether laced with a gender bias that singled out Riley’s “objectivity” as unusual in a woman artist, or as part of a nationalistic endeavor to connect US artists back to Abstract Expressionism, or simply based on observation, Riley emerged from the comparison as an equal — an artist who, Russell concluded, would be “welcomed the world over.”31

Expand Expand Figure 8
Kenneth Noland, Wild Indigo, 1967. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Charles Clifton Fund, 1972

Although the British Council retrospective opened the doors to a more sustained and in-depth appreciation of Riley’s oeuvre in the United States, interest in her work has never again reached the heights it did in the mid to late 1960s. In part, this is to be explained by its continued alignment with Op art, but other factors might also have contributed. Riley was one of very few international female artists to gain widespread coverage from New York’s male-dominated art establishment in the 1960s. However, the rise of the feminist art movement in the early 1970s put gender at the forefront of artistic practice and brought about a series of cooperatives and networks — such as A.I.R. Gallery, founded in 1972 — through which female artists could gain visibility. Riley distanced herself from the feminist art movement in her short article “The Hermaphrodite” (1973), writing that “women’s liberation, when applied to artists, seems to me to be a naïve concept,” a “hysteria, [which] artists who happen to be women need . . . like they need a hole in the head.”32 This unwillingness to subsume perceived artistic independence under the political moment may have had an adverse impact on Riley’s popularity in the United States and limited the channels through which her work could be seen.

The postmodern turn in scholarship in the 1980s did, however, afford renewed attention to her work among US-based art historians, including Richard Shiff and Jonathan Crary. A handful of commercial galleries in New York City, including Jeffrey Hoffeld, Sidney Janis, and Pace Wildenstein, continued to mount shows of her recent work. In 2001, the Dia Center for the Arts in New York gave Riley her first US museum exhibition since the traveling British Council retrospective (fig. 9). As the title Reconnaissance implied, the show offered a new generation of audiences a preliminary survey of Riley’s work, mainly from the 1960s and 1970s, paving the way for the YCBA’s larger, more complete retrospective.33

Expand Expand Figure 9
Bridget Riley: Reconnaisance exhibition at Dia Center for the Arts, 2001

When William Seitz put Current on the catalogue cover of The Responsive Eye, it was an attempt to situate the work in the present moment, as a product of contemporary concerns. More than 50 years later, however, the work still retains its potency, simultaneously capturing the sensorial overload of abstract art in the mid-1960s and the meticulous workmanship of an artist who has remained steadfast in her craft. Riley’s work continues to captivate audiences around the world, transcending national and international categorizations through the clarity of her vision and unwavering commitment to communicating that vision through color and form.

Rachel Stratton is Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale Center for British Art.


  1. See William C. Seitz, ed., The Responsive Eye (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1965). See also The Responsive Eye press release, no. 50, Friday, September 25, 1964, Museum of Modern Art press release archives. ↩︎

  2. Seitz, The Responsive Eye, 30. ↩︎

  3. Anton Ehrenzweig described the experience of viewing Riley’s paintings as “hallucinations.” See Anton Ehrenzweig, Bridget Riley (London: Gallery One, 1963). Riley also recalls being told about people taking drugs in front of her painting Fall (1963) at her Gallery One exhibition. Bridget Riley, interview by Michael Bracewell, in “A Plea for Painting,” Guardian, March 15, 1997, 18. ↩︎

  4. Thomas Hess, “You Can Hang It in the Hall,” Art News 64, no. 2 (April 1965): 41–43, 49–50. ↩︎

  5. Riley to Rose Gerlach, September 15, 1964, Yale Center for British Art, Archives and Manuscripts, https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/orbis:3218125. ↩︎

  6. See Gordon M. Smith, ed., Kinetic and Optic Art Today (Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, 1965) and Motion and Movement: An Exhibition of Kinetic Painting and Sculpture (Cincinnati, OH: Contemporary Arts Center, 1964). ↩︎

  7. Pop & Op, December 1–31, 1965, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York. ↩︎

  8. This narrow history of Pop art was contested in the exhibition and catalogue The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern in 2015. See Jessica Morgan and Flavia Frigeri, eds., The World Goes Pop (London: Tate Publishing, 2015). ↩︎

  9. Riley’s work was exhibited in the first show, at Whitechapel Gallery, March–May 1964. See Bryan Robertson, The New Generation (London: Peter Stuyvesant Foundation for Whitechapel Gallery, 1964). ↩︎

  10. See Geoffrey Dickinson, “London: The Swinging City,” Time 87, no. 15 (April 15, 1966), cover. ↩︎

  11. See Contemporary British Painting and Sculpture: From the Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Special Loans (Buffalo, NY: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1964). ↩︎

  12. See London: The New Scene (Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center, 1965). The exhibition at the Walker Art Center (February 6 – March 14, 1965) traveled to Washington, DC, Boston, Seattle, Vancouver, and Toronto and was organized in association with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the British Council. ↩︎

  13. Bridget Riley, response to questionnaire from Martin Friedman, August 18, 1964, Walker Art Center Archives. ↩︎

  14. See Bridget Riley (New York: Richard Feigen Gallery, 1965). ↩︎

  15. Robert Rosenblum, “Reflections of the Tremaine Collection,” in The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters, the Spirit of Modernism (Hartford, CT: The Wadsworth Atheneum, 1984), 14. ↩︎

  16. See Emily Hall Tremaine, A New York Collector Selects: Emily Hall Tremaine (San Francisco, CA: Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, 1965). ↩︎

  17. Emily Hall Tremaine, speech to the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, January 1965, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation Archives, quoted in Kathleen L. Housley, “Emily Hall Tremaine: Collector on the Cusp,” Women’s Art Journal 21, no. 2 (Autumn 2000–Winter 2001): 20. ↩︎

  18. Tremaine, speech to the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, 20. ↩︎

  19. See Bridget Riley, “Mondrian: The ‘Universal’ and the ‘Particular,’” Burlington Mgazine 138, no. 1124 (November 1996): 751–53. ↩︎

  20. See Michael Findlay, “Vogue’s Notebook: A Fizzy Dinner for Artists at the Museum of Modern Art,” Vogue, May 1965, 135; Ad Reinhardt and Bridget Riley, Poor Old Tired Horse 18 (Ardgay, Scotland: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1966). ↩︎

  21. Ad Reinhardt to Samuel J. Wagstaff, postcard, July 23, 1964, Samuel Wagstaff Papers, ca. 1932–85, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. ↩︎

  22. Gordon M. Smith to Riley, September 17, 1966, Bridget Riley Correspondence, Albright-Knox Gallery Archives. ↩︎

  23. See David Thompson, Bridget Riley (London: The British Council for the XXXIV Venice Biennale, British Pavilion, 1968). ↩︎

  24. See Janni Müller-Hauck, ed., Documenta 4: Internationale Ausstellung (Kassel, Germany: Fridericianum, 1968). Documenta was initially held every four years, but from 1977, it was held every five years. ↩︎

  25. The history of Documenta is available online at http://documenta.de/en/retrospective/4_documenta. ↩︎

  26. Bryan Robertson, “Bridget Riley: Color as Image,” Art in America, March/April 1975, 69. See also Sidney Janis, ed., Bridget Riley: Exhibition of New Paintings (New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, 1975) and Bridget Riley: Exhibition of New Paintings (New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, 1978). ↩︎

  27. Robertson, “Bridget Riley,” 69. ↩︎

  28. Riley to Robert Buck Jr., September 26, 1978, Bridget Riley Correspondence, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives. ↩︎

  29. John Russell, “Bridget Riley’s Show in Buffalo,” New York Times, November 15, 1978, in Bridget Riley Exhibition Files, 1978, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives. ↩︎

  30. Russell, “Bridget Riley’s Show in Buffalo.” ↩︎

  31. Russell, “Bridget Riley’s Show in Buffalo.” ↩︎

  32. Bridget Riley, “The Hermaphrodite” (1973), in The Eye’s Mind: Bridget Riley: Collected Writings 1965–1999, ed. Robert Kudielka (London: Serpentine Gallery; De Montfort University; Thames & Hudson, 1999). ↩︎

  33. See Lynne Cooke and John Elderfield, eds., Bridget Riley: Reconnaissance (New York: Dia Center for the Arts, 2001). ↩︎