Bridget Riley

Alternative Name(s): Bridget Louise Riley
Date of Birth: April 24, 1931
Place of Birth: Norwood, London, England
Date of Death: -
Focus: Painter
Art movement: Op Art
Nationality: British

Famous Bridget Riley Artwork

Bridget Riley Biography

Bridget Riley was born in Norwood, London, England on April 24, 1931. She grew up in Cornwall and Lincolnshire and attended Goldsmiths College in London from 1949 to 1952 and then at the Royal College of Art until 1955. Riley spent several years after university taking care of her injured father and working various jobs, including teaching young children. Eventually, Riley began teaching a design course at the Loughborough School of Art before teaching at the Hornsey School of Art and the Croydon School of Art. She also worked in advertising for the J. Walter Thompson Group before giving up regular work to focus on her art full time in 1964.

Riley is perhaps best known for her many visually striking black and white works, which she began producing during the 1960s. Though her early work was influenced by Impressionism and focused on figure subjects and landscapes, Riley’s style eventually took a drastic turn towards work that focused on the numerous possibilities of optical experimentation. Riley’s work has been cited as having many strange effects upon its viewers, such as causing motion sickness, dizziness and a feeling similar to that of seasickness. After taking a trip to Egypt and studying hieroglyphics, Riley began incorporating much more color into her work and expanding beyond the contrasts of black, white and the occasional gray. Riley remains England’s most famous figure of the “”Op Art”" movement spawned during the 1960s.

Many museums and galleries around the world have exhibited and collected Riley’s work. Collections are maintained by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Riley was awarded the International Prize for Painting in 1968 and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge.