Bridget Riley

Installation view, Konstruktiv Tendens 1987

Untitled, 1987, oil on linen


Born 1931 in London.
Lives and works in London.

During this period Bridget Riley lived with her mother, sister and aunt in Cornwall whilst her father was away in the army. Her education was informal and often interrupted.

Attended Cheltenham Ladies' College where she was freed from the restrictions of the normal curriculum and allowed to choose her own course of study in the art studios.

Became a student ät the Goldsmiths' College of Art, where she was taught by Sam Rabin who awoke her enthusiasm for drawing.

Studied in the painting school of the Royal College of Art where her contemporaries were Dick Smith, Peter Blake, Joe Tilson and John Bratby. A painting of hers was exhibited in the 1955 Young Contemporaries exhibition. Spent much time in Lincolnshire, where her family lived in a mill-house on a river.

1955-58 The beginning of a clear direction in her creative thinking was partly linked with The Developing Process' exhibition ät the ICA and partly through the confrontation with American post-war art in an exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1956. Her self-confidence was strengthened by her experience of teaching children, and by her work with the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency.

Visited Spain and Portugal, taught at Loughborough College of Art.

Summer spent in Italy, painting and visiting galleries. Was impressed by the work of the Futurists, in particular that of Boccioni and Balla, also by Italian architecture and the frescoes of Piero della Francesca at Arezzo. In the autumn she taught part-time at the Homsey College of Art in the Department of Fine Art which was then under the direction of Maurice de Sausmarez. Her colleagues on the staff included John Hoyland and Allen Jones.

First visit to the Valley of Vaucluse, France. Returns many times to her studio there in the early 60's.

First one-man exhibition held at Gallery One. Taught part-time at Croydon School of Art.

Met Anton Ehrenzweig who wrote the foreword for her second one-man show at Gallery One. The first major critical essay on the artists work was also written by Ehrenzweig and appeared in

1965 in Art Internationell. In this year she was awarded a prize in the open section of the John Moore's exhibition ät the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Work represented in the New Generation exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, in Tainting and Sculpture of a Decade' at the Tate Gallery, in the Carnegie Intemational at Pittsburgh, and in the Nouvelles Tendances exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, in Paris.

1965 Increasing intemational recognition came with The Responsive Eye' exhibition at the Museum of Modem Art, New York, and her one-man show also in New York at the Richard Feigen Gallery.

First exhibition at the Robert Fraser Gallery in London.

A further one-man show at the Richard Feigen Gallery, New York. Visited Greece.

Won the Intemational Prize for Painting at the XXXIV Biennale in Venice. In the same year, Bridget Riley worked, with Peter Sedgley, on the formation of SPACE, a scheme for the organization of studios for artists.

In January SPACE was established at St. Katharine's Dock in London where Bridget Riley continued to work until the scheduled redevelopment caused this organization to move, two years later, on to other sites. First exhibition at the Rowan Gallery in London.

Beginning of her major 1970-1 European retrospective exhibition at the Kunstverein in Hannover. A monograph on the artists work, written by Maurice de Sausmarez, was published in London by Studio Vista.

The European retrospective exhibition travelled to the Kunsthalle in Beme, the Kunsthalle in Dusseldorf and the Museo Civico in Turin. These were followed by the major Arts Council exhibition of drawings and paintings from 1951-71 at the Hayward Gallery and the final European exhibition venue at the National Gallery in Prague.

Travelled frequently with Robert Kudielka both in Europe and the British Isles. Amongst many other things she was particularly impressed by the Baroque churches of Southern Germany, the Tiepolo frescoes at the Wurzburg Residence (Frankonia) and the collection of Rubens paintings in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. She also revisited the Prado Museum in Madrid. During this time she established a studio in Comwall and resumed her visits to the Valley of Vaucluse in France.

First exhibitions in Australia and Japan at the Coventry Gallery in Sydney and the Minami Gallery in Tokyo.

British Council touring exhibition travelled to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and the Neuberger Museum at New York State University in the U.S.A.; to the Centrepoint Building in Sydney and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth in Australia; and finally to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. This was a period of extensive travel for the artist: to the Far East, Australasia, India, including a visit to Egypt which was to have a significant impact on her work.

'Recent Paintings and Gouaches' shown at the Rowan Gallery and the Warwick Arts Trust, London in 1981 and 'Bridget Riley, Paintings and Drawings 1981-83' at the Nishimura Gallery in Tokyo and 'Gouaches' at the Juda Rowan Gallery in London in 1983. Mural project for Royal Liverpool Hospital opened in July 1983. Designed 'Colour Moves' for Ballet Rambert, collaborating with the choreographer Robert North, first performed at the Edinburgh Festival on 1st September 1983.