Bridget Riley Value: Top Prices Paid at Auction

Fragment 2 by Bridget Riley Fragment 2 © Bridget Riley 1965
Celine Thompson

Celine Thompson, Post Sales & Logistics Manager[email protected]

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Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

106 works

Bridget Riley's print works have demonstrated a consistent 6% compound annual growth rate over the past five years, with an average price exceeding £10,000 during this period. This steady rise reflects the enduring appeal and sustained interest in her vivid geometric art. While her paintings continue to achieve multimillion-dollar prices at auctions, her prints provide a more accessible entry point for art collectors and carry the prestige of a trusted, high-potential blue chip brand for investment. For more insights into Riley's performance in the print market, explore our Modern British Masters report, and discover her top ten highest-valued works below.

£4.4M for Gala

Gala by Bridget RileyImage © Christie's / Gala © Bridget Riley 1974

Created in 1974, Riley's Gala explores vibrant colours to mimic the dynamic flow of a rippling prismatic surface, exemplifying the pinnacle of the Op Art movement and Riley's bold visual experimentation. During the 2022 Modern British Art Evening Sale at Christie's London, Gala significantly exceeded its estimated value of £3.5 million, fetching an impressive £4.4 million and setting a new auction record for Riley.

£4.3M for Untitled, Diagonal Curve

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

One of Riley's remarkable works, Untitled (Diagonal Curve) (1966), known for its visually captivating illusions, exceeded expectations by selling for £4.3 million at Christie's London in June 2016. This monochrome masterpiece, distinguished from her straight-lined counterparts like Zing 2 (1971), which realised just under £3.3 million in June 2021, highlights Riley's prominent role in the Op Art movement. With its dizzying array of seemingly oscillating forms, this artwork marks one of her final forays into black and white before venturing into the world of colour the following year.

£3.3M for Zing 2

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

Zing 2 (1971), a representative piece from Riley's body of work in the 1960s and '70s, remained hidden from the public since its creation, resurfacing at Christie's in June 2021. Surpassing its estimated value range, this artwork achieved £3.2 million. Unlike Riley's later, more curvilinear works from the 1980s onwards, Zing 2 displays a relatively subdued use of colour. Nevertheless, the painting showcases Riley's signature technical precision and semi-illusionistic geometric forms, emblematic of the Op Art movement.

£2.9M for Chant 2

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

Created in 1967, the year that marked Riley's transition to incorporating colour into her artworks, Chant 2 is a striking piece first exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1968. Acting as a conceptual link between Riley's earlier ventures into dizzying monochrome pieces, this artwork achieved a remarkable result, selling for over £2.9 million at Christie's in February 2014. This early work by Riley, once part of the renowned collection of German art collectors Alfred and Elisabeth Hoh, had previously appeared at auction in 2008, selling for over £2.5 million. This recent sale marks a 16% increase in sales value.

£2.8M for Orphean Elegy 7

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

Orphean Elegy 7 (1979) seamlessly combines two defining elements of Riley's illusonary body of work: the striking interplay of tessellating linear forms and the vibrant use of complementary and contrasting colours. Surpassing its £2 million high estimate, this artwork achieved £2.8 million at Christie's in October 2019. Created in 1979, Orphean Elegy 7 showcases a kaleidoscopic and rhythmic composition, bearing witness to Riley's transition from simple verticality to embracing the 'curve' in the late 1960s. Initially recognised for her extensive exploration of monochrome, Riley later gained international acclaim for her chromatic works, often described as inducing a sense of 'vertigo.'

£2.7M for Shift

Shift by Bridget RileyImage © Sotheby's / Shift © Bridget Riley 1963

Confronted with the mesmerising and visually captivating and dimensional illusionary qualities of Shift (1963), one can readily understand why Riley is often hailed for her ability to make us acutely aware of our own perception. This remarkable artwork fetched a substantial £2.7 million at Sotheby's in February 2020, underscoring the enduring impact of Riley's early monochromatic pieces, which remain as impactful today as they were nearly six decades ago. A quintessential example of Riley's early work, Shift exudes an unmatched sense of dynamism, displaying the artist's initial preference for monochrome compositions.

£2.6M for Halcyon 2

Halcyon 2 by Bridget RileyImage © Christie's / Halcyon 2 © Bridget Riley 1972

Halcyon 2 (1972) is characteristic of British ‘Op’ Artist Bridget Riley’s first interventions into the optically rich and tantalisingly bold sphere of colour. Product of her stepping outside of a previously monochromatic world, the painting is characteristic of an important phase in Riley’s career. Going above and beyond its sale estimate in October 2021, this fact was apparently clear to Halcyon 2’s latest owner, who snapped up for the princely sum of £2.6 million at Christie’s in London. Previously the property of Galerie Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, the work is testament to its creator’s close attention to graphic detail.

£2.3M for Arcane

($2,700,000 USD)

Arcane by Bridget Riley - MyArtBrokerImage © Christie's / Arcane © Bridget Riley 1972

In November 2022, Riley's Arcane (1972) achieved a remarkable sale price of £2.3 million as part of the renowned Paul G. Allen collection. This artwork represents an exciting departure from Riley's well-known artistic motifs, such as Stripes, Waves, Lozenges, and Rhomboids. In Arcane, she embarks on a three-dimensional exploration, skilfully intertwining stripes to create a captivating composition.

£2.3M for Gaillard

Gaillard by Bridget Riley Image © Christie's / Gaillard © Bridget Riley 1989

A foremost example of Riley’s oeuvre, Gaillard (1989), is a lively and effervescent work that was purchased in February 2020 for nearly £2.3 million at Christie’s. The kaleidoscopic energy posed by the painting’s exploration of hard-edged form, is a testament to it’s auction success surpassing the high estimate by 14%. While distinctly divergent from the artist's earlier monochromatic works, Gaillard still maintains a fundamental focus on visual perception. Comprising an array of coloured rhomboids, referred to by Riley as 'zigs,' this artwork elicits a range of optical effects for the viewer to experience.

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