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Bridget
Riley

Discover art for sale. Buy and sell prints & editions online by Op artist Bridget Riley. A pioneer of modern, abstract, British painting, Riley's works have expanded the perceptual and optical possibilities of art.

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Biography

Known for her large scale ‘Op-Art’ works, Bridget Riley plays with optical and chromatic phenomena, and is a key figure in modern and abstract art. Imploring the viewer to consider how it physically feels to look, Riley constructs geometric patterns which cause perceptual disruption. There is a timelessness inherent to Riley’s wholly original works, both in their conception and execution.

Untitled (Diagonal Curve) by Bridget Riley

Image © Christie's / Untitled (Diagonal Curve) © Bridget Riley 1971

1. £4.3M for Bridget Riley's Untitled, Diagonal Curve

A stand-out example of British artist Bridget Riley’s visually arresting illusionist œuvre, Untitled (Diagonal Curve) (1966) smashed its price estimate (between £2.5 million and £3.5 million), realising £4,338,500 at Christie’s London in June of 2016. Performing markedly stronger than some of its straight-lined counterparts, such as Zing 2 (1971), which realised just under £3.3 million in June 2021, this dynamic, monochrome work reminds us of Riley’s position at the centre point of the Op Art movement.

Comprising a vertigo-inducing assemblage of seemingly oscillatory form, this optically challenging piece is one of the artist’s last experimentations with black and white; the next year, Riley would go on to make her first bold steps in the world of colour.

Zing 2 by Bridget Riley

Image © Christie's / Zing 2 © Bridget Riley 1971

2. £3.3M for Bridget Riley's Zing 2

A work typical of British artist Bridget Riley’s œuvre during the ‘60s and ‘70s, Zing 2 (1971) has remained hidden from the public eye since the time of its production. Significantly outstripping its auction price estimate of £1.8 million - £2.2 million, the work realised just under £3.3 million in June 2021 at Christie’s auction house in London.

In contrast with the markedly more serpentine elements of Riley’s work, such as those vibrant paintings the artist created during the 1980s and beyond, Riley’s use of colour appears somewhat muted. Ever present, however, is the artist’s highly technical, semi-illusionist approach to geometric form – a hallmark of the so-called Op Art movement.

Chant 2 by Bridget Riley

Image © Christie's / Chant 2 © Bridget Riley 1967

3. £2.9M for Bridget Riley's Chant 2

Painted in 1967, the year in which British artist Bridget Riley began creating artworks with colour, Chant 2 is a bold work that was first shown at the Venice Biennale in 1968. A conceptual bridge between the artist’s previous experiments with dizzying, optically activated monochrome works, it realised over £2.8 million in February of 2014 at Christie’s auction house in London. A rare example of Riley’s early œuvre, the piece was previously housed in the collection of German art collectors Alfred and Elisabeth Hoh, a pair well-known for their large portfolio of 20th-century European paintings and prints.

Orphean Elegy 7 by Bridget Riley

Image © Christie's / Orphean Elegy 7 © Bridget Riley 1979