Looking is, I feel, a vital aspect of existence. Perception constitutes our awareness of what it is to be human, indeed what it is to be alive.
Who is Bridget Riley?
Born in 1931 in London, she studied art at Goldsmith College between 1949 and 1952 and later at the Royal College of Art (1952 – 55). One of her jobs after college was as an illustrator at an advertising agency. But a major impact on her career as an artist came when she saw the American artist Jackson Pollock who had an exhibition at a Whitechapel gallery in 1958.
Her early work was figurative with a semi impressionist style but this changed to her signature Op art style which she perfected whilst working at the advertising agency. It consisted of black and white geometric patterns which explored the dynamism of sight to produce a distortive effect on the eye.
In the early 1960s, she bought a derelict house in the south of France with her partner and later turned it into a studio, she said the light there was so different from London and like no other. She was influenced by the post-impressionists artists like Georges Seurat who used to live in the region using this light. Discover more about her work at the exhibition which is on till 25th January 2020.
Hayward Gallery – https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/venues/hayward-gallery
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