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  • Bridget Riley

    United Kingdom

    Art Brokerage: Bridget Riley British Artist: B. 1931 Bridget Riley was born in 1931 at Norwood, London, the daughter of a businessman. Her childhood was spent in Cornwall and Lincolnshire. She studied at Goldsmiths College from 1949 to 1952, and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. Riley has exhibited widely since her first solo show in 1962. Among numerous exhibitions, Bridget Rileywas included in the 1968 Venice Biennial where she won the International Prize for painting. Riley began painting figure subjects in a semi-impressionist manner, then changed to the Neo-Impressionist technique of Pointillism around 1958, mainly producing landscapes. The same year she was deeply impressed by the large Jackson Pollock exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. In 1960, working initially in black and white, Riley evolved a style in which she explored the dynamic effects of optical phenomena. These so-called 'Op-art' pieces, such as "Fall", 1963, produce a disorienting physical effect on the eye. Riley taught children for two years before joining the Loughborough School of Art, where she initiated a basic design course in 1959. She then taught at Hornsey School of Art, and from 1962 at Croydon School of Art. She worked for the J. Walter Thompson Group advertising agency from 1960, but gave up teaching and advertising agency work in 1963-4. After a major retrospective in the early Seventies, Riley began to travel extensively. Up until early 1980 she had been working on her 'curve' paintings, but these came to an end after a particularly inspiring sojourn in Egypt. Her extensive exploration of color and contrast began after this. In 1983 she designed a mural made up of soothing bands of blue, pink, white and yellow for the Royal Liverpool Hospital. In the same year, she made her first set for the ballet 'Color Moves' first performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1983. Three years later she met the postmodern 'Simulationist' painters Philip Taaffe and Ross Bleckner, and was inspired to introduce a diagonal element to her work, thus adding another dimension to her fascination with the juxtaposition of colors.

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