Screenprint on wove paper
47.6cm x 72.4cm
Edition of 200
Signed and numbered by the artist
Bridget Riley is a British painter best known for her black and white paintings that create unique optical effects on canvas, and as a key figure in the Op Art (Optical Art) movement.
Bridget Riley (b. 1931, London) studied art at Goldsmiths’ College from 1949 to 1952 and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. She began painting figure subjects in a semi-impressionist manner but changed to pointillism around 1958, mainly producing landscapes. In 1960 she evolved a style in which she explored the dynamic potentialities of optical phenomena, today known as Op Art.
Influenced by artists including Georges Seurat (French, 1859–1891) and Victor Vasarely (French-Hungarian, 1906–1997), Riley began to produce works in black and white geometric shapes that created sensations of movement and color by experimenting with the disconcerting optical illusions that could be rendered on a two-dimensional surface. Their disarming nature reflected the preoccupations of the era, namely the search for new ways to engage the viewer with art, and the state of the individual amidst an age of hallucinogenic drugs and the atomic bomb.
She turned to colour in 1966 after being influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphs and their use of opposing colors. By this time she had attracted widespread attention (one of her paintings was used for the cover to the catalogue of the exhibition ‘The Responsive Eye’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1965, the exhibition that put Op Art on the map), and the seal was set on her reputation when she won the International Painting Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1968. Her recent work reflects an engagement with specific historical, religious, and cultural symbols.
Her works are currently held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Tate Gallery in London; and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, while under the management of megadealer David Zwirner her auction prices have recently risen to £4.3 million.
Bridget Riley divides her time between London, Cornwall and Provence.
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