SHADOW PLAY (from Wikipedia)
by Bridget Riley (b. 1931)
BECKY'S NINE PATCH block first appeared in print in 1975, in THE PREFECT PATCHWORK PRIMER by Beth Gutcheon, #150, p.89. As a block limited to varying size rectangles, the design is similar in spirit to the modernist CENTURY OF PROGRESS pattern, published by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune in 1934 and celebrating the Chicago World's Fair. See Barbara Brackman's "Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns," #4117, p. 509, in her section titled "Off-Center or Asymmetrical Blocks." The design is included also in Maggie Malone's "5,500 Quilt Block Designs," p. 18, # 109.
As with the earlier CENTURY OF PROGRESS, abstractions as art forms for this type of random composition originated in early 20th century Cubism and especially influenced by paintings by the great Piet Mondrian. The renowned British artist, Bridget Riley also did some fascinating color and black and white paintings, constructed out of simple stripes, parallelograms and squares. The color combination for the illustrations above were inspired by Riley's "Shadow Play," illustrated left. For more blocks utilizing color combinations or geometric patterns influenced by the art of Piet Mondrian or Bridget Riley see:
ARRANGEMENT OF SMALL PIECES
Note: in quilt making, this same basic design, used by Riley, of diamonds, or parallelograms, all slanting in one direction is called DIAMOND DESIGN, published in the Ladies Art Company Catalogue #312, in 1897 (see Jinny Beyer's QUILTERS ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS p. 430-5 and Barbara Blackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS, p.26. #141b). However Riley's diamonds are a little more stretched along the slant than the quilt block, and in that regard an improvement on the pattern in terms of its uniqueness. Also notice how Riley doubles or even triples the colors of some of the adjacent parallelograms, disrupting any sort of monotony!