Bridget Riley is one of the most significant artists in the world, and renowned for being a pioneer of optical art. Her dedication to the interaction of form, as well as colour has led to a continued exploration of perception. Her clean, fresh colour and modernism has proved timeless.
Riley first studied art at Goldsmiths College from 1949 – 52 and later at the Royal College of Art from 1952 – 55. Her career began with creating figurative works that tended towards Impressionism and experimenting with Pointillism. In 1959, she painted a copy of George Seurat’s – one of her idols – ‘Bridge of Courbevoie’ in order to better understand his use of perception and colour. This process was transformative to her practice.
Whether they be colour, monochromatic pieces or studies on paper, our eyes move around the picture, not simply across it – we follow the colours and shapes, up and down and across. The impact is peculiarly personal and miraculously different. A place of meditation and of vibrant energy and change. Each picture is a distillation, a multi-layered realm of sensation and experience; Riley’s works are phenomenological masterpieces.
“Riley invented a legal hallucinogenic”
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian
A long awaited major retrospective exhibition is currently on display at the Scottish National Gallery, before moving to the Hayward Gallery, London in October 2019. This exhibition is a celebration of Riley’s incredible contribution to art history and will further her unrivalled reputation whilst introducing her work to a new generation. It is the first comprehensive collection of Riley’s work in Britain since her 2003 show at the Tate.
Riley currently lives and works in London, Cornwall, and Vaucluse in France.