The subject of her paintings are the familiar cities that comprise the megalopolis that extends from Boston to Washington D.C. Riley works on top of actual maps and fills them with patterned images of dividing cells.The artist looks at maps as a structure upon which to build a pattern. These patterns reveal the evolution of development in a country or a city. They are a part of a system of growth that can be envisioned into the future. Riley utilizes the inherent organization within a map to create a surface that blurs the line between map and abstract work of art. The paintings are at once large unified surfaces of color and pattern as well as a microscopic peering-into-minute detail of each city.
At right, Riley’s Composite Map 1, acrylic on paper, 62×50 inches.