Thursday 30 December 2010

some people are too talented for their own good

I can understand why some people don't get modern art, but to label artists as talentless because they have decided to produce something different is incredibly short-sighted. Yesterday I visited the Bridget Riley exhibition at the National Gallery, which opens with a painting in the style of Jan Eyck that she completed as a hideously prodigious sixteen-year-old.

Riley was obviously talented enough to compete with the classical masters, and the exhibition shows how she was inspired by her predecessors' use of diagonals and colour manipulation. However, as a modern artist she took art in a more innovative direction that was nonetheless no less informed or skilled than the work of her counterparts.

I have no doubt that this will be sabotage to the painstakingly thought-out work of Riley, but I really couldn't help thinking of Paul Smith's multicoloured, psychadelic designs when I encountered her paintings...

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