Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio (solo show)
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
17 September 2022 – 16 January 2023
Bridget Riley considers drawing to be an essential part of her—and any—artistic practice. For more than 60 years, the British artist has created abstract, geometric paintings and drawings that challenge and delight the senses. These studies range from working drawings on graph paper to finished gouaches and serve alternately to anticipate and accompany her paintings.
Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio is the first and most extensive museum exhibition dedicated exclusively to Riley’s drawings in over half a century. The exhibition presents approximately 90 sheets from the artist’s own collection, kept as part of her dynamic studio practice. These works cover the full range of her career—from her student days in the late 1940s, when she dedicated herself exclusively to drawing courses at Goldsmiths College, through her groundbreaking black-and-white optical works of the early 1960s and the innovative colour studies she has produced from the late 1960s to the present day.
In one gallery of the exhibition, Riley has selected works from the Art Institute’s permanent collection to pay homage to the artists who have influenced her work. These include paintings and drawings by Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Georges Seurat, and others.
Art Institute of Chicago
Looking and Seeing, Doing and Making (solo show)
Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
10 June – 21 August 2022
A solo exhibition with paintings and works on paper by Bridget Riley will be on view at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern from 10 June until 21 August 2022.
This exhibition focuses on the twenty-year period that followed a visit Riley made to Egypt in 1979, which had a profound effect on the development of her colour work. Riley has selected paintings from her own collection to provide vital insights into how the working process unfolds through practice. In support of this, the exhibition includes rarely shown preliminary work, drawings and studies, which reveal Bridget Riley’s day-to-day life in her studio.
Zentrum Paul Klee
Charles Gaines, Bridget Riley
2022 Newly Elected Members of American Academy of Arts and Letters
We congratulate Charles Gaines and Bridget Riley on their selection into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, one of the highest forms of recognition of artistic merit in the United States.
An honour society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers, the American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, John Singer Sargent, and Mark Twain.
American Academy of Arts and Letters
Perceptual Abstraction (solo show)
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
3 March – 24 July 2022
Bridget Riley’s exhibition Perceptual Abstraction is on view at the Yale Center for British Art until 24 July 2022.
Selected by the artist and displayed over two floors, the works in this exhibition comprise the largest survey of Riley’s work in the United States in twenty years. The show opens with an in-depth examination of Riley’s seminal monochrome paintings of the 1960s on the third floor and presents the full range of her oeuvre in colour on the second floor. Assembling Riley’s most iconic paintings alongside rarely seen works, the exhibition traces the evolution of her deep engagement with the fundamentals of visual perception.
“Looking carefully at paintings is the best training you can have as a young painter,” Riley has said of her deep appreciation of the work of painters of the past. For this exhibition, she has selected an oil study by John Constable from the Yale Center for British Art and a watercolour by Eugène Delacroix from the Yale University Art Gallery to hang alongside her own work.
The Yale Center for British Art will offer a free digital publication, Bridget Riley in America, which explores Riley’s long and prolific career. The catalogue includes essays by Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani and Rachel Stratton, along with a reflection by the artist.
To mark the occasion, a symposium on Bridget Riley will take place on Saturday, 14 May, from 9.45am – 5pm (ET), aiming to generate new scholarship by recontextualising and interrogating the impact of transatlantic and international experiences and relationships on the artist’s practice. Watch the livestream here.
Yale Center for British Art
Navid Nuur, Bridget Riley et al.
Mondrian Moves (group show)
Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague
2 April – 25 September 2022
To celebrate the 150th Birthday of Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Kunstmuseum Den Haag presents Mondrian Moves from 2 April to 25 September 2022. Showcasing works by Mondrian alongside other artists from the institution’s collection, including Navid Nuur and Bridget Riley, this exhibition explores Mondrian’s inspiring relationships and lasting legacy with fellow artists and future generations.
Kunstmuseum Den Haag
Working Drawings (publication)
Thames & Hudson has published Bridget Riley: Working Drawings, the first-ever book dedicated to the celebrated British artist’s working drawings. This volume richly illustrates the thinking that goes into Riley’s work through a selection of over 150 drawings, colour analyses, notations, scale studies and cartoons, most of which were exhibited at the artist’s recent seminal retrospective exhibitions in Edinburg and London from 2019 to 2020 organized by the National Galleries of Scotland. The selection spans most of Riley’s working life, tracing the origins and evolving nature of her remarkable body of work. Riley’s beginnings are also documented through selected childhood drawings, work made during and immediately following her studies at Goldsmiths’ College and the Royal College of Art, and her early explorations into abstraction.
The artist’s working method is brought into high relief in a newly commissioned conversation with Riley and Sir John Leighton, Director of the National Galleries of Scotland. The text explores the cardinal moments in the artist’s practice and the impulses that bring her work into existence. The volume also includes four previously published texts dedicated to Riley’s studies and practice written by the artist herself, art historians, curators and museum directors, which shed further light on the enduring role of drawing and the process of exploration central to her work.
Get your copy here.
Intervals 1, 2019
recently acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland
We are pleased to announce that Bridget Riley's Intervals 1, 2019, is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.
National Gallery of Ireland
Messengers (wall painting)
The National Gallery, London
From 17 January 2019
See Messengers, a new large-scale wall painting by Bridget Riley: one of the most important artists of her generation.
The title, Messengers, is inspired by a phrase Constable used when referring to clouds, and might also be an allusion to the numerous angels, bearers of news, that we see in the skies of so many National Gallery pictures.
Painted directly onto the wall of the Annenberg Court and spanning a vast 10 x 20 metres, the abstract work, comprised of coloured discs, carries influences from our historic collection over into the 21st century. Throughout art history, harmonies of colour have played a large part in pictorial composition.Taking as a point of departure the paintings of George Seurat, in particular Bathers at Asnières, Bridget Riley’s 'Messengers' transforms the Annenberg Court into a great white space in which coloured discs float as clouds drift in the lanes of the sky. By leaving after-images on the viewer's retina that suggest volume and movement the longer it is perceived, the work becomes a tribute to its artistic predecessors and to the process of looking at art itself.
Bridget Riley (born 1931) has a long-standing relationship with the Gallery; she made copies of paintings in the collection including Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?), 1433, as a teenager as part of her portfolio when applying to Goldsmiths College, London, just after the end of the Second World War, and Georges Seurat's Bathers at Asnières while training as an artist.
In 1989 Riley was invited to select that year’s Artist’s Eye exhibition and between 2010 and 2011 the Gallery held her acclaimed exhibition Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work.
The National Gallery, London