Bridget Riley RA (1931 – )   Bridget Riley RA (1931 – )  

Bridget Riley RA (1931 – )

Our Bridget Riley artwork is “Study for Painting in Four Colours”, Black+White Visual Grey, Warm and Cold Yellow Sensation. It is signed and dated ‘Bridget Riley ’81’ (lower right), titled ‘Study for painting. Four colours, Black + White Visual Grey, warm and cold yellow sensation.’ (lower left). The work is a gouache and graphite on paper measuring Height 27 3/8 x Width 23 3/8in. (H69.5 x W59.3cm.). It was executed in 1981 and has excellent provenance including Karsten Schubert, London and Aurel Scheibler, Cologne. The Work has been sold.

Bridget Riley (born 1931) is one of Britain’s best-known artists. Since the mid-1960s she has been celebrated for her distinctive, optically vibrant paintings which actively engage the viewer’s sensations and perceptions. Her work stimulates the senses producing visually challenging experiences, with the black harking back to her 60’s works with a sense of disturbance as well as being optically stimulating.

Bridget Riley was educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and studied art first at Goldsmiths College and later at the Royal College of Art. Her contemporaries included luminaries like Frank Auerback and the Godfather of Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake. She left college early to look after her sick father, and suffered a mental breakdown shortly thereafter. Once she had recovered she had a number of jobs including that of art teacher and a spell a J Walter Thompson.

In the late 1950s, Bridget Riley started created distinctive works in her own style. A study of the pointillism of Georges Seurat, led to her interest in optical effects. The paintings of Victor Vasarely, who had used designs of black and white lines since the 1930’s also had a strong influence on her early works, which were defined by a simple palette of colours and abstract shapes. From this starting point she moved forward to develop formal progressions, colour relationships and repetitive structures, which created the effect of generating sensations of movement, light and space. Her work falls into phases or groups in which it is possible to see certain formal ideas being worked through. At the same time, however, her work has not followed a single, straightforward line of development. She was one of a select group of artists to be asked to produce a work for the 2012 Olympic Games.

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