Bridget Riley, Conspiracy, The Artist as Witness (Schubert, 15) 1971
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Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness (Schubert, 15), 1971
Silkscreen on 100% handmade rag paper
33 1/2 × 27 1/4 × 1/2 inches
Hand signed, numbered and dated on the lower left recto; also bears the printer's distinctive blind stamp
Edition of 150
This is one of the most celebrated and coveted silkscreens Bridget Riley ever made. Not too many Bridget Riley graphic works from this period on the market today. 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 - and one of the most bankable living female artists in the world. Hand signed, numbered and dated on the lower recto (front) from the limited edition of 150. 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. 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 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
Hand signed, numbered and dated on the lower left recto (front).
Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness, Original Portfolio