A primary characteristic is the way a complex visual structure is formed from the repetition of simple shapes. This is a principle which runs throughout Riley’s art. The wall drawing takes a complete circle as its starting point and repeats this shape, creating a web of abutting, nearly touching and overlapping hoops. In common with all Riley’s work since 1961, the wall drawing is the result of a long preparatory process involving detailed studies on paper in which formal ideas are tried out and progressively refined. Once a definitive image has been decided, the activity of painting individual works - or in this case, drawing a scaled-up composition onto the wall – is carried out by assistants. Though freely composed during the preparatory stage, the structure of the wall drawing marries organic asymmetry with an underlying sense of order, stasis with movement, flatness with depth. As in Riley’s paintings, the drawing, though abstract, reveals features which we recognise from certain experiences in nature.
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