Bridget Riley (1931 - )

Oil on linen


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© Bridget Riley 2012. All rights reserved

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  • About the work
    Country: Egypt
    City: Cairo
    Place: British Embassy

    Bridget Riley's "Reflection" is characteristic of her work in its engagement with optical effects. The palette of colours used in this painting was taken from the wall paintings of Egypt. Riley visited Egypt for the first time in the winter of 1981 and was struck by the colours used by ancient Egyptian artists, particularly by their practice of using a very restricted palette. "Reflection" was one of the first paintings she made based on these ancient colours, which she recreated from memory. As with many of Riley's works, the pattern of the lines appears to constantly shift and vibrate.

  • About the artist
    Bridget Riley was born in London and studied at Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art, London, in the 1950s. In 1965, her work came to international attention following her participation in the acclaimed Op Art exhibition 'The Responsive Eye', at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1968, Riley became the first contemporary British artist, and the first woman, to win the International Prize at the Venice Biennale. She went on to exhibit and travel widely around the world during the 1970s and ‘80s. Her exploration of the relationships between colour, form and her perception of the natural world continue to be central to her work today. Riley was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1999 with a major retrospective of her work held at the Tate in 2003. Riley has written extensively about her work, including 'The Eye’s Mind: Bridget Riley: Collected Writings 1965–2009', co-authored with Robert Kudielka. In 2012, Riley was officially awarded the 12th Rubens Prize from the city of Siegen, Germany, an award presented every five years to a painter living in Europe in honour of their lifetime artistic accomplishment. In 2016, a year-long major exhibition celebrating 50 years of painting by Riley opened at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. A full retrospective of Riley’s paintings, prints and drawings opened at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh in the summer of 2019, travelling on to the Hayward Gallery, London, that autumn.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    linen, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Oil on linen
    height: 161.00 cm, width: 135.50 cm, depth: 5.50 cm
    Purchased from Bridget Riley Services Ltd. via Karsten Schubert, October 1998
    verso, top edge of linen and repeated on centre stretcher bar: REFLECTION. Riley 1982. Oil on linen. 63 1/4 x 53 1/4 ins; lower right edge: Riley '82
    Bridget Riley Services Ltd. via Karsten Schubert
    GAC number