10 Facts About Bridget Riley's Stripes

Firebird by Bridget Riley - MyArtBrokerFirebird © Bridget Riley 1971
Jasper Tordoff

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Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

106 works

The Stripes print series was created by Bridget Riley in 1965. It is an example of her exploration of colour and form and represents her Op Art style.


Stripes is about the relationship between the complex and the simple

Rose Rose by Bridget RileyRose Rose by Bridget Riley, 2011

Stripes implores the viewer to look carefully and closely. This series succinctly represents Riley’s philosophy - that complexity lurks beneath the surface of simplicity, if only we take the time to notice.


Riley introduced colour into her work from 1967

Serpentine by Bridget Riley Serpentine by Bridget Riley, 1999

Riley introduced colour into her previously black and white works in 1967 with her Stripes works, expanding the perceptual and optical possibilities of her compositions.


Some of Riley's colour palettes were inspired by her travels

Achaean by Bridget Riley Achaean by Bridget Riley, 1981

Riley expanded her colour palette as she travelled: conceiving the well-known Egyptian palette (Anchaen, 1981), inspired by her travels there.


This series has endured as iconic in Riley's career

Rose Horizontal by Bridget RileyRose Horizontal by Bridget Riley, 2018

Having used an array of geometric forms to pursue vibrating movement throughout her artistic career, Riley’s stripes - horizontal, vertical or diagonal, have endured.


Riley first rose to fame in 1965

And About by Bridget Riley And About by Bridget Riley, 2011

Riley rose to international fame following the 1965 exhibition The Representative Eye at the Museum of Modern art in New York.


Riley represented the UK at the Venice Biennale

Edge of Light by Bridget Riley Edge of Light by Bridget Riley, 1981

In 1968, Riley represented the UK at the 34th Venice Biennale, where she was also the first living British painter to win the prestigious International Prize for Painting.


Riley has commented on the simplicity of this work

Brouillard by Bridget Riley Brouillard by Bridget Riley, 1981

On the simplicity of the forms, Riley stated: “If I want to make colour a central issue, I had to give up the complexities of form with which I had been working. In the straight line I had one of the most fundamental forms”.


These works should be read from left to right

Firebird by Bridget Riley Firebird by Bridget Riley, 1971

The lines are uniform: of equal density and at regular intervals. Riley has suggested that these horizontally-striped works should be read from left to right to best appreciate the variations in colour between warmer and cooler hues.


These works explore abstraction

Light Between by Bridget Riley Light Between by Bridget Riley, 1982

Non-representational in their degree of abstraction , Riley’s titles enable the viewer to discover and understand what experiences or moments underpin each Stripes painting.


The stripes allowed Riley to explore colour in depth

Silvered 2 by Bridget RileySilvered 2 by Bridget Riley, 1981

The stability offered by repetitive stripes was essential for Riley’s in-depth explorations of colour.


Riley was inspired by many artists

Two Blues by Bridget Riley Two Blues by Bridget Riley, 2003

As many artists before Riley, such as Seurat, Sonia Delaunay and Josef Albers, discovered, colours evoke emotional responses. Therefore, colour combinations can vibrate and produce alternating effects in their viewer. Hence, Riley’s Stripe prints stand as powerful manifestations of the artist’s life-long commitment to exploring colour, shape and form.

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