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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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