In the early 1960s Riske developed a dramatic, colourful and monumental form of abstract expressionism, painting in grand gestures with heavy impasto. By the 1970s this evolved into a highly disciplined and geometrically ordered formal abstraction with fastidious surfaces patiently layered to create a seductive spatial complexity. The resulting paintings, gouaches and pen and ink drawings reflect his fascination with cosmic forces, modern science and advances in technology.
In maturity, Riske continues to construct his work with great care and purpose, yet, as this exhibition of his recent smallest paintings reveals, there is also a refreshing new upbeat freedom with reminders of the bold and ambitious young artist of the 1950s and ’60s. As a group, these tile-sized paintings are characterised by sharp complementary accents of saturated colour, lively pastes of impasto and dramatic changes in mood and intensity. Each might suggest being the detail of a much larger work, yet is satisfyingly complete as it is.
Furthermore there is joy in each of them – joy in their making, joy in realising over and over in paint the infinite order of all things – spatial, material and spiritual.
Hendrik Kolenberg, 2014