Dynamic painting by Bridget Riley goes to Southampton City Art Gallery

  • 9 January 2007

The Art Fund has given a grant of £80,000 to Southampton City Art Gallery to help it buy a stunning painting, Red Movement, 2005, by leading British artist Bridget Riley. The cost of the acquisition was £235,000.

The purchase was further supported by the David and Liza Brown Bequest Fund – a bequest fund administered by The Art Fund which was set up by the former Tate curator specifically for the purchase of modern British art by Southampton City Art Gallery. Additional funding came from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund. The painting will go on public display on 19 January at the Gallery as part of a new display of contemporary British art.

Bridget Riley first found fame in the 1960s as one of the first of the so-called ‘Op’ artists – her black and white stripe paintings were world-renowned and widely imitated. Riley’s paintings, abstract designs which can appear deceptively simple at first glance, transfix the viewer with their hypnotic rhythm and movement. The artist has spent years developing their precise structure and carefully modulated colour, in order to create paintings that are powerful visual experience-sensations.

Red Movement is one of the most important acquisitions in the Gallery’s history. The Art Fund has supported numerous acquisitions by Southampton City Art Gallery over the past 50 years – these include works by William Blake, Claude Monet, Frank Auerbach, Vanessa Bell and Rachel Whiteread. Several Art Fund-assisted works of art will be on show when the new displays open next week.

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Southampton City Art Gallery