» Artist of the gallery from 1996 to 2005 «
* 1931 in London, GB
lives and works in London
Bridget Riley is one of the key figures of Op Art and for decades was also a secret role model for numerous artists grappling with painting. It is not necessarily the paintings from the 1960s, with their almost painful optical effects, that the successors to so-called Young British Art have discovered but rather the “mature” Riley and her conceptual work based on painting, which has made her part of this young generation.
Already in the 1960s, Bridget Riley was one of the most important women painters of her generation—in 1968 she even one the International Prize for Painting at the thirty-fourth Venice Biennale. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, things grew quieter around the London-based artist, until the exhibition Reconnaissance at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York, in 2000 emphasized Riley’s great importance for painting in a dazzling retrospective.
At the same time, she continued to push the possibilities of nonrepresentational painting. Her stripes of the 1980s and parallelograms of the 1990s were followed, beginning around 1999, by a new phase in Riley’s work. The diagonals of her previous works were enriched by vertical curves and waves, her palette reduced to a few colors, her color planes more extensive, and her formats broader and almost panorama-like. The small forms of the parallelogram paintings, with their elaborate system of references of color, form, and space, were replaced by a dynamic rhythm of curves and a more serene play with color contrasts.