Mustard, Turquoise and Pink Rhomboids

Bridget Riley (1931 - )

Gouache and pencil on paper


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© Bridget Riley 2012. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street
    This drawing is one of many examples of preparatory studies that Bridget Riley makes for her works; eventually developing them into large-scale paintings. Despite the overt abstraction of her work, Riley derives the greatest inspiration from the forms, light and visual perceptions of nature. She cites the work of early 20th-century artists such as Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat and Henri Matisse as formative influences on her artistic development in painted form and colour.

    Rather than aiming to represent objects or landscapes in an abstract fashion, Riley’s work is predominantly concerned with an exploration of the sensory perceptions of the human eye and the almost physical sensations that an image can provoke. She has commented on the subject of visual perception:

    The pleasures of sight have one characteristic in common – they take you by surprise ... They are essentially enigmatic and elusive. One can stare at a landscape, for example, which a moment ago seemed vibrant and find it inert and dull – so one cannot say that this lively quality of sight is simply ‘out there in nature’, or easily available to be commanded as wished.
  • 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.
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  • Details
    Mustard, Turquoise and Pink Rhomboids
    Gouache and pencil on paper
    height: 58.50 cm, width: 65.60 cm
    Purchased from Rowan Gallery, June 1972
    bl: Mustard, Turquoise and Pink Rhomboids br: Bridget Riley 72.
    GAC number