A Buyer's Guide to Bridget Riley

Brouillard by Bridget RileyBrouillard © Bridget Riley 1981
Jasper Tordoff

Jasper Tordoff, Specialist[email protected]

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Through this comprehensive buyer's guide you will explore Bridget Riley as a forefront figure in the Op Art movement. Born in 1931, Riley revolutionised visual art with mesmerising illusions in black and white, and later, vibrant colour compositions inspired by travels to Egypt. Her innovative prints, especially from the renowned Fragment and Stripes series, remain highly sought after in the art market. This guide offers essential insights for collectors looking to invest in Riley's print works, highlighting the lasting value and transformative impact of her work.

This Riley buyer's guide is designed to empower you in building and expanding your art collection. Discover invaluable insights, from initiating your collection journey to optimising portfolio diversification. To learn more about the latest trends within the Riley print market, explore MyArtBroker's Bridget Riley Investment Guide In 2024.

Considering selling a Riley print? Explore our dedicated Bridget Riley Sellers Guide for expert guidance.

Why Collect Bridget Riley?

Riley, a seminal British artist and a leading figure in the Op Art movement, employs a striking interplay of colours, patterns, and shapes to craft dynamic optical illusions. Since the 1960s, her innovative approach has garnered enduring popularity. In recent years, the scarcity of Riley's works at auction has enhanced their appeal and demand; in 2022, five of her paintings were sold, while in 2023, only three appeared on the auction block.

While originals by Riley reach millions at auctions, her prints offer a more accessible entry point for collectors. These prints capture the essence of Riley's skill at a fraction of the cost of her paintings, making them an attractive option for both new art collectors and seasoned investors looking to diversify their portfolios with iconic pieces from the Op Art genre.

Starting your Bridget Riley Print Collection

Riley's prints, highly sought after in the art market, come in an array of colours, sizes, and edition numbers, reflecting the distinctive periods of her artistic career from the 1960s through the 2020s. Unique to Riley's practice, her prints stand as independent artworks rather than scaled-down reproductions of her paintings. This independence ensures that each print edition remains unique, enhancing its collectability and appeal. This aspect of Riley's work makes her prints particularly valuable for collectors interested in acquiring unique pieces.

In a recent podcast, Jasper Tordoff, MyArtBroker sales specialist and Riley expert, underscores the increasingly limited availability of Riley's works, emphasising their rarity and escalating value in the print market. Despite this, Riley's art remains accessible, with prices generally ranging from £8,000 to £50,000, catering to both new and experienced collectors. Tordoff particularly praises the aesthetic and conceptual qualities of Riley's art, noting its straightforward, appealing nature that makes it an ideal starting point for art buyers.

“We are observing a slight shift towards striped pieces and Riley's large-scale works featuring bold colours. Clients are showing increased interest in these pieces, recognising their potential value.”
Jasper Tordoff

Jasper points out that seasoned collectors often gravitate towards Riley's earlier works from the mid-1960s, such as her monochromatic pieces from the Fragment series, which are seldom seen on the market and command higher prices due to their scarcity. However, there's a noticeable shift in interest towards her large-scaled coloured striped works, such as RA-2, Silvered-2, and Edge of Light, which feature bold colours and measure approximately 80cm x 50cm, or larger. These pieces are becoming increasingly popular among collectors, reflecting a broader trend in Riley's print market towards coloured, large-format artworks.

Navigating the market for Riley prints, deciding whether to purchase privately or at auction, selecting a specific print, or curating a collection involves careful considerations. To assist you in this journey, we have compiled key factors to consider when acquiring a Riley print work. This guide focuses on essential tips to ensure you make informed decisions in the art buying landscape, helping you secure a piece that not only enhances your collection but also holds potential for appreciation.

Are Bridget Riley Prints a Good Investment?

At the age of 91, Riley continues to innovate and capture the attention of the global art market. In 2023, the Riley print market achieved sales exceeding £670,000 from 57 artworks. Our AI-enhanced print market database shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% over the past seven years, indicating a strong and consistent rise in interest and value for Riley’s prints, suggesting they are solid investments for art collectors.

The international demand for Riley's prints is expanding. While in 2022, 73% of Riley's market was in the United Kingdom and 19% in the United States, the 2023 data reveals a diversification with a lower percentage in the UK, a higher percentage in the US, and over 13% spread across various other European countries.


Browse the Trading Floor and Get In Touch With Us. Read the Bridget Riley Investment Guide in 2024.

How Much Does A Bridget Riley Print Cost?

In 2023, the market for Riley's signed limited edition prints saw prices ranging from around £4,000 to £71,000 at auction, with auction fees included. The highest valued sale in 2023 was the complete set of the Dominance series—Green Dominance, Blue Dominance, Red Dominance—achieving a new auction record by selling for £70,854 (with fees). This sale was significant, marking only the fourth time the complete set has been available at auction and fetching a price 2.2 times higher than the previous record set in 2020.

The pricing of a Riley print can vary widely based on several factors, including size, series year, rarity, edition size, condition, and provenance. Despite these variables, the market for Riley's prints has shown robust growth, with the overall market size increasing by 81% and the average selling price (ASP) of an individual print rising by 60% over a seven-year period. This positive trend underscores the strong investment potential and enduring appeal of Riley's artwork in the art buying landscape. For collectors and investors, these dynamics suggest a promising opportunity for the acquisition of Riley's prints.

What Are Some of Bridget Riley’s Most Popular Prints?

Riley's art portfolio showcases a wide range of prices, sizes, and colours. Highlighted below are some of her most popular series from 2023, along with pieces that are anticipated to draw attention in 2024.

  1. Fragment: Riley's Fragment series from the 1960s is a notable example of her innovative approach, consisting of seven monochromatic works each distinguished by unique patterns and executed on plexiglass through screenprinting. Originally not intended for sale, each piece is part of a limited edition of 75, characterised by sharp, clear lines. As our sales specialist, Jasper, observes, “These works are a prime example of a really innovative artist experimenting, and the results are spectacular.” This series exemplifies Riley’s pioneering spirit in the art world, making it a significant highlight for collectors in our art buyer's guide.
  2. Rose Horizontal: Belonging to Riley's Stripes series, which ranked second in terms of lots sold and first in terms of sales value in 2023, Rose Horizontal is a prime example of Riley's trending works. as highlighted by our sales specialist Jasper, larger-scale coloured works, measuring 60 x 100 cm. Its rarity in the market adds to its appeal, as it made a single appearance at auction in 2023, fetching £14,080 and setting a new auction record for the piece.
  3. Large Fragment: Large Fragment is part of Riley's Lozenges series, which diverges from her well-known Fragment series, showcasing the breadth and versatility of her artistic practice. This particular work stands out with its large scale and a harmonious, bold colour palette. After not appearing on the market since 2020, Large Fragment gained attention in 2023, setting a new auction record by selling for £20,480. It resurfaced in March 2024, nearly matching this record with a less than 1% difference in the final bid. Due to its recent performance and visual impact, Large Fragment is one to watch in the 2024 art market.
  4. Elapse: From Riley's Waves series, the use of undulating lines in pink, green, blue, and yellow challenges the two-dimensional flatness traditionally associated with paper. These works have been historically popular by volume in the art market, appearing twice in 2023. One of Riley’s most frequently traded works, the value of these pieces has experienced fluctuations, likely due to variations in condition and quality. The record price for this print reached £16,332 in 2022. Given its popularity, we'll be keeping a close eye on the reappearance of this work in the 2024 art market.

When considering the purchase of a print, the most important factors should always be your personal taste and the joy and pride the artwork brings to your collection. To discover Riley's most investable prints for 2023, consult our Bridget Riley Market Watch and Investment Guide for 2024.

How to Prove a Bridget Riley Print is Authentic

Riley's prints, unlike those of some other artists, do not have a dedicated authentication board. Instead, verifying the authenticity of a Riley print involves tracing its provenance. This includes securing proofs of purchase such as a receipt from the gallery or a certificate from the publisher, ensuring that the title of the artwork and the edition number match the original receipt. Additionally, if the print is still in its original frame, it's advisable to inspect the back for any stickers or labels from the gallery where it was originally sold. This approach helps confirm the legitimacy and history of the artwork, which is crucial for buyers navigating the art market.

How Do You Check The Condition On A Bridget Riley Print?

Riley's prints, known for their use on high-quality wove paper, exhibit enhanced durability. However, assessing the condition of a Riley print before purchasing remains crucial, as any damage can significantly impact its value and potential return on investment. Particularly, Riley's earlier prints from the 1960s, such as those from her Fragment series which were not initially intended for commercial sale, may show signs of wear or damage.

“There is value in buying something that may have condition issues, which can carry a certain charm, as long as it's price accordingly.”
Jasper Tordoff

As pointed out in our Riley-focused podcast, while prints in excellent condition command a premium, there is value in acquiring prints with some condition issues if they are priced accordingly. This can add a unique charm to the piece. Potential signs of damage to look out for include tears, scratches, brown spots from iron or mould spores (foxing), fading colours, yellowing from light exposure, or warping due to humidity changes.

It is just as important to inspect the back of the print when removed from the frame, not only to verify authenticity through any gallery labels or stickers but also to thoroughly assess the condition of both the front and back of the work. This comprehensive evaluation helps ensure that you make a well-informed purchase in the art market.

If you have questions about the conditions of a Riley print, MyArtBroker is here to help. Get in touch with us and we can facilitate contact with a professional restorer for their recommendations.

Refer to MyArtBroker's Guide To Restoring and caring for Modern and Contemporary Prints for further insights.

Where can I buy a Bridget Riley print in 2024?

There are several avenues to consider when looking to acquire a Riley print on the secondary market, including public auctions or private sales through dealers such as MyArtBroker. Timing and market knowledge are crucial. Working with an advisor or dealer who understands the dynamics of the market, including price fluctuations and saturation, is highly recommended for securing the desired print.

It's generally advisable to steer clear of online platforms like eBay, despite the allure of direct transactions and potentially lower costs. These platforms can increase the risk of encountering forgeries and scams, so caution is necessary.

Auction houses are known for their trust and expertise, providing a level of buyer confidence through thorough research on the authenticity, condition, and provenance However, auction houses do not offer a buyer guarantee, and the excitement of an auction can sometimes lead to higher-than-expected prices due to competitive bidding. Additionally, auction houses charge a buyer’s fee—typically about 25% of the hammer price—and you'll be responsible for any shipping costs. Buying through an auction also means adhering to their scheduled dates, which may not always align with your purchasing timeline.

MyArtBroker presents a streamlined alternative, combining the ease of an online platform with the expertise of an auction house. Your personal broker will assist in finding the right Riley print at your target price, leveraging a global network of collectors. They handle all aspects of the transaction from authenticity verification and condition checking to arranging shipping once the sale is complete.

Why use MyArtBroker to find your first Bridget Riley?

At MyArtBroker, we provide a secure and straightforward way for buyers to connect directly with our expert brokers. If you are looking to acquire a specific piece of Riley's art to start or enhance your collection, our brokers are ready to assist you. They leverage our extensive network of collectors who are actively buying and selling daily. Additionally, our brokers facilitate a professional condition check and verify the authenticity of the artworks, ensuring you can make your purchase with confidence.

A Dedicated Broker

MyArtBroker provides a protected environment for connecting buyers with skilled brokers.

Your dedicated broker will collaborate with you to locate the desired Banksy artwork at a price within your budget. Our specialists facilitate condition checks and authentication for artworks, ensuring your confidence in every purchase, and can assist with delivery arrangements.

We offer the assurance and convenience of both personalised specialist consultations and streamlined online processes.

Our Network

With a vast global network comprising over 30,000 active collectors, dealers, galleries, and experts, we ensure access to the most sought-after and genuine Riley artworks. Our website attracts 75,000 monthly visitors, featuring regular updates on market trends, auction outcomes, and artist news, along with comprehensive biographies and insightful essays on Riley editions.

At MyArtBroker, we connect you with this extensive network of collectors selling Riley artworks. Reach out to us to explore purchasing a Riley print, and we'll guide you through the entire process.

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