Saturday, April 16, 2016

Artist of the Day: Bridget Riley, Greatest Living British Artist

Bridget Riley in 2012

Bridget Riley, the greatest living British artist, discusses her processes of working and making art, "At the End of My Pencil." At the end of this statement from the LRB (London Review of Books), she ends with this. . .(this essay is dated October 8, 2009). Here's another link to her discussions of her processes. . .

You cannot deal with thought directly outside practice as a painter: ‘doing’ is essential in order to find out what form your thought takes. The ‘new curves’ that I started in 1998 grew directly out of paintings such as Shimmered Shade. The latent visual arcs and sweeping movements came to the fore in Painting with Verticals 1 (2006) and Red with Red 1 (2007). Retaining the diagonals and verticals of the earlier group of paintings, I introduced a curve that connected to the existing structure. This is the underpinning of my new curvilinear work. The vertical is still there, acting like a break in the movement across the canvas. The cut collage pieces define the various contours that arise from combining and recombining the slender curve with its diagonal accents. This has developed into a layering technique that allows me to weave forms and colours together in a supple plastic space. I have reduced the number of colours and increased the scale of the imagery. Would it be possible to once again build up a repertoire of these invented forms, a repertoire that might gradually acquire sufficient momentum to put itself at risk, to precipitate its own kind of hazard? It is only through the experience of working that answers may be discovered within the inner logic of an invented reality such as the art of painting.
Bridget Riley, artist, Red with Red (2007)

She begins the essay with:

For me, drawing is an inquiry, a way of finding out – the first thing that I discover is that I do not know. This is alarming even to the point of momentary panic. Only experience reassures me that this encounter with my own ignorance – with the unknown – is my chosen and particular task, and provided I can make the required effort the rewards may reach the unimaginable. It is as though there is an eye at the end of my pencil, which tries, independently of my personal general-purpose eye, to penetrate a kind of obscuring veil or thickness. To break down this thickness, this deadening opacity, to elicit some particle of clarity or insight, is what I want to do.
The strange thing is that the information I am looking for is, of course, there all the time and as present to one’s naked eye, so to speak, as it ever will be. But to get the essentials down there on my sheet of paper so that I can recover and see again what I have just seen, that is what I have to push towards. What it amounts to is that while drawing I am watching and simultaneously recording myself looking, discovering things that on the one hand are staring me in the face and on the other I have not yet really seen. It is this effort ‘to clarify’ that makes drawing particularly useful and it is in this way that I assimilate experience and find new ground.

Bridget Riley, artist, Movement in Squares (1961)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rounder Studio has Moved to Historic Steinfeld Warehouse Tucson

Together with Greta Ward, I have set up Rounder Studio's workspace in the historic Steinfeld Warehouse at 101 W. 6th Street (at 9th Avenue) in Tucson, Arizona. We will be showing our work at the Tucson Artists' Open Studios May 14-15 and 21-22 from 11:00a--5:00p. Please come on by.
From a new series "A Terrible Beauty," Nancy Charak artist, 8"x8" watercolor, graphite on clayboard.

I am working on a number of projects for exhibition and sale near and far, in Chicago at The Nevica Project, a commission for a local Tucson collector, work for the Tucson Artists' Open Studios (Saturday and Sunday May 14-15 and May 21-22, 11:00a--5:00p), and for an art consultant to the hospitality industry.
You can find more of my work at and follow this blog as well at Rounder Studio Stuff.
--Thank you, Nancy Charak