Ascending and Descending Hero,

Bridget Riley, English, born 1931
Acrylic emulsion on canvas
72 x 108 inches
Acquired 1968

Bridget Riley’s bold, rhythmic abstractions presaged the Op Art craze of the 1960s--a popular commercial design trend characterized by optical gimmicks and associated with psychedelia. Suggesting the reversible figure-ground relationship, vibration, and hypnotic sense of Op Art, Riley’s intense and intelligent abstractions span more than this short-lived moment in art history. Her beautifully controlled and supremely logical paintings--often created with graph paper and the tools of an architectural draftsmen--transcend mere optical illusion, offering the complex experience of an ordered, abstract world. Riley is an innovator who, for more than thirty years, has pursued an independent and consistently original program of abstract painting.