Associated with the Op Art movement, Bridget Riley rose to fame in the ’60s when she began to challenge traditional modes of painting and ways of seeing. Embracing abstraction, Riley opposed the search for meaning in her work, stating that “colours, lines, shapes and spaces don’t have to stand in for double duty. They are and can be themselves. Then one is curious about what they can do, allowed to stand on their own two feet.” Today her work remains just as captivating and elusive as it was then, and is highly sought after by collectors around the world.

SUCCESS

Riley’s clever manipulation of her canvases brought her to international attention in 1965, when she exhibited her Op Art paintings alongside Victor Vasarely at an exhibition called The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With this exhibition, Riley’s work captured the public’s imagination and inspired the fashion, design and advertising industries – a piece of hers was even worn by Keith Moon, the drummer of The Who. In 1968 Riley became the first woman to win the coveted International Painting Prize at the Venice Biennale. Her ground-breaking experiments with colour and shape continue to be acknowledged through grand commissions such as the 56-meter-long mural she made for St Mary’s Hospital in London in 2014 and major retrospectives.

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