Well known for her distinctive patterns and colourful works Bridget Riley’s ‘The Pleasures of Sight’ exhibition features her ground-breaking black and white checkerboard paintings and more recent colourful, striped and curved paintings. Celebrating Bridget Riley’s 90th Birthday and 60-year career, this exhibition explores the artist’s love of sight. When I visited her exhibition I was definitely seeing things in a new way and it felt different and refreshing. Her art in general is mesmerizing. What look like simple and beautiful paintings are powerful and engaging and have a sense of wonder about them that I really love. Bridget Riley is perhaps one of the best-known artists who thrives on manipulating our ‘ways of seeing’.
A lot of Riley’s art incorporates optical illusions and gives you the impression that the art is moving, swirling or pulsing and you feel like the paintings are still but moving. You are forced to feel the sensations that colours and shapes do to you and re-consider the mundane with the intensity of looking. I felt like my sense of sight was taking over. Whether Riley was born with a creative eye or learned her unique way of seeing and thus creating, it’s as if she’s teaching us to look harder and deeper and learn or re-learn the art of seeing.
Examples from the 1960’s to the present day with oils and prints include Movement in squares, Red Movement, Untitled (Fragment 1), Song of Orpheus and her newest piece Ecclesia as shown.
Riley’s investigation of colour and form and her interactions between colours (harmonious or not) is fascinating, especially if you’re genuinely interested and curious about colour relationships like me. Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, who also did the Millenium wheel, The Lightbox Gallery is a friendly and relaxing place to visit and now Riley’s work is there it’s a great excuse to wander down there.
This exhibition was sponsored by Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers. All works © Bridget Riley, 2022.
Explore the artist’s enduring exploration of colour, structure and perception by booking your day pass here: https://www.thelightbox.org.uk/bridget-riley-pleasures-of-sight
Written by Julia Nelson who does marketing and operations for Abundant Art.