Moving from David Hockney at Annely Juda across Mayfair, in what would now be deserted streets, to Brigit Riley, another great British artist from that generation, David Zwirner was showing several of her works from the 1980′s and 1990′s alongside a parallel exhibition of work from the last years of the abstract artist Paul Klee, on different floors connected by the elegant staircase in the gallery’s beautiful 18th century home in Mayfair.
Bridget Riley was only nine years old when Paul Klee died in 1940. At first glance, there seems little to connect their art, Riley’s being much more geometric and precise than Klee’s, but the exhibitions at David Zwirner explore connections between the two, from the times when each artists was around 60 years old.
While banned in Nazi Germany, Klee’s work achieved international acclaim elsewhere, including exhibitions in London throughout the 1930′s and 40′s. The years before his death were a last flowering of his art, both in quality and in output and some of those varied works are on show here.
In 2002, Bridget Riley co-curated an exhibition of Paul Klee’s work at the Hayward Gallery along with Robert Kudielka, in which she paid tribute to Klee in her contribution to the catalogue: ‘A colour in a painting is no longer the colour of something but the hue and a tone either contrasting with other hues and tones or related in shade and gradations. And, very importantly, forms do not act as substitutes for bodies in physical space but are special agents in the picture plane.’ Here, you can see the link with Riley’s own style in the works on display as she moves from her characteristic stripes into geometrical rhomboids and, while not on show here, some of other work explores some of the more earthy colours that we also see in some of Klee’s.
Sadly, unless they extend the two exhibitions, it is unlikely that you will be able to see them as they were planned to end in April, but are obviously closed due to the current situation with regard to coronavirus.