Bridget Riley (b. 1931, England) is famous for her contributions to the development of Op Art alongside artists Victor Vasarley and Richard Anuszkiewicz. In the early 1960s, Riley’s mesmerizing black-and-white paintings and prints gained notoriety. Later that decade, the artist became fascinated with color theory and introduced bright colors into her compositions. Inspired by Pointillist artist Georges Seurat, Riley’s patterns include distinct gradients and variations in tone. “The eye can travel over the surface in a way parallel to the way it moves over nature. It should feel caressed and soothed, experience frictions and ruptures, glide and drift,” she once said of her work. “One moment, there will be nothing to look at and the next second the canvas seems to refill, to be crowded with visual events.”


Riley studied at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art. In 1968 she received an International Painting Prize at the Venice Biennale and was then named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1974. In 2021, the Yale Center for British Art hosted the artist’s first retrospective in the United States. Riley’s compositions are collected by prestigious institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Tate Gallery (London) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice).


related works

  • In our sister gallery, form & concept, Brett Kern similarly plays with illusion by creating an inflatable plastic effect out of his immutable porcelain designs. View his work.
  • Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt was a pioneer of radical aesthetics. Using simple lines as building blocks, he created a vast oeuvre of complex patterns and vivid colors. View his work

  •  Noted "Wizard of Op" Richard Anuszkiewicz similarly uses bright, geometric forms to play with the optical experience of viewing art. View his work