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.