Reflection

Bridget Riley (1931 - )

Oil on linen

1982

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© Bridget Riley 2012. All rights reserved

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  • About the work
    Location
    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. She first studied art history and life drawing at school and later attended 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. Riley was the first English contemporary artist, and the first woman, to win the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1968 and 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 tenets of her work today. In 1995, Riley selected and co-curated a major Mondrian exhibition at the Tate, London. She was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1999. A major retrospective of her work was held at the Tate in 2003, which attracted major public and critical interest. 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’s artistic accomplishment. In 2016, a yearlong major exhibition celebrating 50 years of painting by Riley opened at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
  • Explore
    Places
    Subjects
    abstract
    Materials & Techniques
    linen, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    Reflection
    Date
    1982
    Medium
    Oil on linen
    Dimensions
    height: 161.00 cm, width: 135.50 cm, depth: 5.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Bridget Riley Services Ltd. via Karsten Schubert, October 1998
    Inscription
    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
    Provenance
    Bridget Riley Services Ltd. via Karsten Schubert
    GAC number
    17350