Released in 1971 in an edition of 75, Elongated Triangles 4 is one in a series of 6 prints. This print is a significant work in Bridget Riley’s oeuvre, demonstrating the inspiration Riley took from Georges Seurat’s Bridge of Courbevoie, which Riley studied meticulously for two years, noting how varying colour combinations create a sense of movement when perceived by the eye. Unquestionably, this is precisely what Riley is endeavouring to explore in this work, with electrifying colour combinations that dazzle and mesmerise.
The stability of Riley’s solid, horizontal lines are integral to the study of colour, which is inherently unstable, since the perception of colour is variable on external factors such as light and surrounding colours. The eye, when looking at one line of colour, perceives a hint of the next colour, creating a sense of movement and vibration. Here, rather than selecting just two colours, Riley has created a rainbow effect of three pastel hues, which darken in tone at alternating ends. Conceived from countless decisions regarding structure, scale, colour and composition, Riley’s works are mathematically precise and Elongated Triangles 4 is no exception.