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Bridget Riley (British, b.1931)
LOT ID: 79048
Print for Chicago 8 from CONSPIRACY: The Artist as Witness , 1971

Screenprint
24 х 18 in. (60.96 x 45.72 cm.)
Signed, stamped, hand signed, numbered 23/150 and dated 1971 by Bridget Riley (recto)
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: K7767, verso lower right
Print/Casting Year 1971
Edition 150
Foundry/Publisher David Godine and the Center for Constitutional Rights, Publisher, Chris Prater, Kelpra Studios Ltd., London, England, Printer
Lot description
Scarce hand signed 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 impeccable provenance: it comes directly from the original Portfolio: "Conspiracy The Artist as Witness" # 23/150, 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.

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.

It is in mint condition, a superb, bright impression. Ships flat, not rolled.
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Print for Chicago 8 from CONSPIRACY: The Artist as Witness by Bridget Riley
  • Print for Chicago 8 from CONSPIRACY: The Artist as Witness by Bridget Riley
  • Print for Chicago 8 from CONSPIRACY: The Artist as Witness by Bridget Riley
  • Print for Chicago 8 from CONSPIRACY: The Artist as Witness by Bridget Riley
  • Print for Chicago 8 from CONSPIRACY: The Artist as Witness by Bridget Riley
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