Bridget Riley: The Curve Paintings 1961-2014

Exploring the artist's pioneering use of the curve motif over a 50-year period

Bridget Riley has been producing her distinctive brand of optical art since the 1960s. Formed of dizzying geometric patterns, each piece is the result of a process of meticulous designing and editing. While she initially worked solely in black and white, Riley began experimenting with colour after she was inspired by the vibrant hieroglyphic decorations she saw on a trip to Egypt. Flashing, vibrating, swelling and warping before your eyes, her work has been said to induce a variety of sensations – from seasickness to sky diving.

This exhibition features 30 paintings and studies that illustrate how the development of the curve motif in her work. Early black-and-white designs melt into twisted arcs of blues, pinks and greens from the 1970s and 1980s. Meanwhile recent paintings combine curvilinear shapes with vibrant palettes, described by Riley as ‘sweeping rhythms’. Also on display are the detailed preparatory studies that the artist uses as the blueprint for her final designs.

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Shown for the first time outside Germany is the wall painting, Rajasthan, which – in homage to the Indian desert region – features a glorious mix of turquoises, oranges and reds.

Venue details

De La Warr Pavilion Marina, Bexhill on Sea East Sussex TN40 1DP 01424 229 111

Entry details

Free entry to all

Sun – Fri, 10am – 5pm

Sat, 10am – 6pm

Closed 25 Dec

24 and 31 Dec, 10am – 3pm

26 Dec and 1 Jan, 10am – 4pm

What the critics say


Bridget Riley is the most important British painter of the modern age... her art is all about lines that cavort and dance, and lead the brain into their crazy pirouette'