Bridget Riley British, b. 1931
"Painting is, I think, inevitably an archaic activity and one that depends on spiritual values" - Bridget Riley
A pioneer of the Op Art movement of the 1960s and one of the most significant artists working today, Bridget Riley's dedication to the interaction of form and color has led to a continued exploration of perception. From the early 1960s, she has used elementary shapes such as lines, circles, curves, and squares to create visual experiences that actively engage the viewer, at times triggering optical sensations of vibration and movement. Her earliest black-and-white compositions offer impressions of several other pigments, while ensuing, multi-chromatic works present color as an active component. Although abstract, her practice is closely linked with nature, which she understands to be "the dynamism of visual forces-an event rather than an appearance."
Riley's practice, which first achieved widespread international acclaim with the 1965 exhibition "The Responsive Eye" at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, has returned to her now iconic stripe motif at crucial moments in her career. Demonstrating their significance for her overall engagement with form, colour, and perception, the stripes' visual variety is achieved by changes in colour, weight, rhythm, and density thus producing varied palettes, tempos, and sizes. Inspired by painters of the past including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse, Riley's abstract innovations offer a groundbreaking way of looking.
Riley has had solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide including the National Gallery in London, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Haus Esters and Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, Germany, and Dia Center for the Arts in New York. In 1974, Riley was made a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and in 1999, appointed the Companion of Honour. In 1968, she won the International Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale and in 2003, the artist was awarded the Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo.