on 1 November 2004
If you like Riley's work, you should buy this! It covers her early period in the 60s when she produced iconic Op paintings, that were still making people dizzy at her show at the Tate last year.
This isn't a dry 'five years in the life' book but looks at the way the paintings were viewed by critics and the public at the time, and examines the links between what people said and what was going on at the time. For instance, some said the paintings were violent and attacked their eyes, and at the same time Latham was burning books and Nitsch was into blood and guts 'happenings'. Then there were the first Hippys who saw Riley's paintings as giving the same sensations as the drugs they thought would usher in a new world of love and peace. Every interpretation and counter-interpretation of Riley's Op art were grounded in the events and social movements of this facinating time.
The book also goes on to show that Op art wasn't an also ran in an age dominated by Pop and Minimalism, but addressed many of the same artistic issues as these movements. It puts Riley's work right at the centre of this period so makes an enjoyable read for anyone interested in Riley, Op and the 60s.