Bridget Riley, ‘Untitled for Conspiracy the Artist as Witness (Schubert, 15)’, 1971, Alpha 137 Gallery

Excellent condition. Excellent provenance: acquired from the original 1971 portfolio. Hand signed, dated and numbered from the limited edition of only 150. Original Op Art three color silkscreen on 100% handmade rag paper from the early Seventies -- the most desirable era -- by internationally renowned British abstract Op artist Bridget Riley, one of the leading artists of her generation. Riley burst onto the international art scene in the mid Sixties, after being chosen to participate in the groundbreaking “Responsive Eye” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, alongside artists like Richard Anuszkiewicz, Yacov Agam and Victor Vasarely - announcing the the ‘arrival’ of Op Art to the world. This stunning work was proofed under the supervision of the artist and printed by hand at Kelpra Studio Ltd., London, England. "Print for Chicago 8" was created for the legendary portfolio "CONSPIRACY: the Artist as Witness", to raise money for the legal defense of the Chicago 8 (who later became the Chicago 7) a group of anti-Vietnam War activists indicted by President Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell for conspiring to riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (1968 was also the year Bobby Kennedy was killed and American casualties in Vietnam exceeded 30,000.) The eight demonstrators included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale. (The eighth activist, Bobby Seale, was severed from the case and sentenced to four years for contempt after being handcuffed, shackled to a chair and gagged.) Although Abbie Hoffman would later joke that these radicals couldn't even agree on lunch, the jury convicted them of conspiracy, with one juror proclaiming the demonstrators "should have been shot down by the police." All of the convictions were ultimately overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This silkscreen has excellent provenance: it comes directly from the original Portfolio: "Conspiracy The Artist as Witness" , which also featured works by Alexander Calder, Jack Beal, Romare Bearden Leon Golub-Nancy Spero, Sol Lewitt, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Larry Poons, Peter Saul, Raphael Soyer and Frank Stella. It was housed in an elegant cloth case, accompanied by a colophon page. This is the first time since 1971 that this important lithograph has been removed from the original portfolio case for sale. All of the artists - including Bridget Riley - donated the entire edition to the Chicago 8 (later Chicago 7) legal fundraising campaign run the Center for Constitutional Rights.
This classic Op Art print - quintessential Riley- is becoming increasingly scarce because so many from this edition are in the permanent collections of major museums and institutions worldwide. A superb, bright impression.
Published by: David Godine and the Center for Constitutional Rights
Printed by: Chris Prater, Kelpra Studios Ltd., London, England
Catalogue Raisonne Reference: Schubert, 15
Unframed and in excellent condition.

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Signature: Signed and stamped; hand signed, numbered from the edition of 150 and dated 1971 by Bridget Riley (recto). Also, the verso lower left features printed copyright stamp of the artist, with date: Copyright © 1971 by Bridget Riley Printer's distinctive blindstamp (Kelpra Studios London)with unique inventory number, verso lower right

Publisher: David Godine and the Center for Constitutional Rights, Publisher, Chris Prater, Kelpra Studios Ltd., London, England, Printer

British Prints from the Hofstra Museum Collection
Curated by Eleanor Rait, Curator of Collections, January 17 - March 19, 2000
Modern & Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Collection, Hood Museum of Art, 2009 (other editions)
among many other exhibitions

Schubert, 15

Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness, Original Portfolio, 1971.

About Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley is an abstract painter who came to prominence in the American Op Art movement of the 1960s, after her inclusion in the 1965 exhibition “The Responsive Eye” at The Museum of Modern Art. There, her black-and-white paintings—which created illusions of movement—were shown alongside works by Victor Vasarely, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Frank Stella, and Ellsworth Kelly, among others. In the late '60s, she introduced color into her work and went on to win the Prize for Painting at the 1968 Venice Biennale. Since then her work has unfolded through numerous groups and series that engage the viewers' perception to induce simultaneously shifting patterns of forms and changing, optical mixtures of colors. Over the past decade, she has also made large, black-and-white murals that shape and articulate the environments they occupy. Her work is ultimately inspired by nature—“although in completely different terms,” she says, adding, “For me nature is not landscape, but the dynamism of visual forces—an event rather than an appearance.”

British, b. 1931, Norwood, London, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom