A New Year: Into Weak 4

I always liked Jack Bruce. So it is funny to see this video and even Ginger Baker, sort of van Goghy in his bandana, looks great. This is the music I am playing in my head this week, instead of grading or doing something “productive.” Some of the great songs by Cream were by Jack Bruce and White Room was always interesting and strange. Checking out Bridget Riley, also of this period, who is the queen of Op.

Bridget Riley (British, 1931-       ) Blaze 1, 1962, emulsion on hardboard

Since all of this and Pop are roughly 50 years ago, I remember quite strongly, Warhol et al, were always mentioned by name, but not so much with Riley. I believe like the Guerrilla Girls, that a woman has almost got to be naked, even 50 years later, to be put in a museum on merit. And although times have changed, there is still a male bias. It is no wonder that Kahlo painted a little moustache on that beautiful face, or that O’Keeffe went west to escape the New York intellectuals.

Riley’s work set off students’ questions about if she produced works in color, after intial “wow’s” and observations into measurement and what possibly the pieces might represent. I became more interested, as they became more interested. (Strangely, the above image reminds me of Serra sculpture). It is funny because I actually saw a piece of hers recently, but I can’t remember if it was in the National Gallery, the SFMoMA or the MoMa!

A girl stopped me today and said, “I know the name of another woman artist, Barbara Morgan.” This intrigued me, how she knew of Morgan, until I realized she had been looking at the image of Martha Graham. It sat in the window with other images, which shows me, some of the kids do look. It’s kind of nice to come away from a weak, where my kids have helped me to plug into some old, new ideas. Classicism revised.

Ripples from the intensity of the 60s still are relevant and reverberate fifty years later. We often forget the battle for hearts and minds covers a wide array of debris along the way. I catch things younger people have to say about Hendrix or Cream on you Tube.  Warhol is alive as ever, even though gone for 20+ years. His words sometimes even more relevant today in the Tech age. Riley is alive and well, she deserves a retrospective as much as Jasper Johns.

There is an excellent blog with some wonderful examples of her work at




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