The current exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art crystallizes a career that almost requires a pilgrimage by anyone who seriously reveres the accomplishments of purely abstract painting.
There is no substitute to see the works in person, especially to try to see the hand of the artist…
Successful studies lead to a full size paper and gouache cartoon which prefigures the final work. These are then enlarged, ruled up, under-painted with acrylic and over-painted in oils. Everything is painted by hand – no rulers, masking tape or mechanical means are used when actually applying the paints. Riley has worked with assistants since the 1960s because of the large scale and the need for great precision.
Here are photos from the installation.