Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley's Iconic Abstract Works

Bridget Riley | Lougher Contemporary

Who is Bridget Riley? Her Op Art Style, and Why Her Work is So Important

Bridget Riley, a pivotal figure in 20th-century art, is celebrated for her pioneering contributions to the Op Art movement. Born in 1931 in London, Riley's early experiences, including a temporary relocation to Cornwall during World War II, deeply influenced her artistic vision. She pursued her passion for art at Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art, where she honed her unique visual language.

Riley’s work is renowned for its mesmerising optical illusions that challenge viewers' perceptions and engage their senses. Her intricate patterns and precise use of colour and shape create dynamic visual experiences that invite active interpretation. Her debut at the 1965 Museum of Modern Art exhibition, "The Responsive Eye," marked her as a revolutionary figure in contemporary art. Over the decades, her contributions have been globally celebrated, earning her numerous accolades, including the prestigious Praemium Imperiale for painting.


Most Famous Patterns


Bridget Riley’s Stripes collection, initiated in 1971, represents her core philosophy: beneath simplicity lies complexity. The Stripes series features horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, with Riley introducing colour into her previously monochromatic works in 1967. This shift expanded the perceptual and optical possibilities of her compositions. The well-known Egyptian palette, inspired by her travels, exemplifies the evolution of her work. The Stripes series implores viewers to look carefully and closely, revealing the intricate interactions of colour and line.


Bridget Riley | Iconic Abstract Works | Lougher Contemporary

Fragment Series

The Fragment series captures the essence of Riley’s Op Art practice. These works, characterised by geometric forms and monochrome palettes, create a sense of movement despite their static nature. Zigzag lines oscillate, circles jolt, and swirling spirals toy with the senses, producing an unsettling, dynamic effect. The Fragment series exemplifies Riley’s ability to generate compelling visual effects through precise geometrical configurations.

Lozenge Series

The Lozenge series, created between 1998 and 2009, features interlocking planes of colour and geometric forms. These works evoke natural motions, such as waves or wind-blown trees, reflecting Riley’s inspiration from the Cornish landscapes of her youth. The series showcases her mastery of non-representational painting, translating natural experiences into abstract forms.


Bridget Riley | Iconic Abstract Works | Lougher Contemporary


The Bagatelle series consists of monochromatic screen prints, reflecting concerns of the period, including mind-body duality and audience participation. Inspired by the Italian Futurists, these works feature hard-edged forms that subtly shift as viewers’ eyes move across them. The series references the erratic motions of the French billiards game, bagatelle, and embodies Riley’s non-representational approach to art.


Bridget Riley | Iconic Abstract Works | Lougher Contemporary


The Zig/Rhomboid collection, developed in the 1980s and 1990s, combines the horizontal stripes of Riley’s earlier works with short diagonal elements. This series marks a shift towards more dynamic and complex shapes, generating interactions between colours and creating a sensation of motion. The introduction of colour into these works in 1967 highlights Riley’s focus on the emotional and narrative potential of varying colour combinations.


Intervals (2019) is one of Riley’s more static compositions, featuring straight horizontal lines arranged in five bands of cool colours like purple, blue, and green. This series demonstrates Riley’s ongoing exploration of optical effects and her ability to create depth and movement through simple geometric configurations.


Bridget Riley | Iconic Abstract Works | Lougher Contemporary

Why Collect Bridget Riley Prints?

Collecting Bridget Riley art prints, such as those available through Lougher Contemporary, offers art enthusiasts a chance to engage with her dynamic visual dialogue. Lougher has a selection of Bridget Riley prints available and can help you source any artwork you're looking for to add to your collection. Riley’s prints encapsulate her groundbreaking approach to Op Art, offering a glimpse into her innovative techniques. Her works invite viewers to actively participate, creating a unique visual dialogue. Owning a piece of Riley’s work connects collectors to a pivotal moment in art history, making her prints highly sought after and valuable additions to any art collection.


In conclusion, Bridget Riley’s artwork, from her famous stripes to her intricate geometric patterns, continues to captivate and inspire. Her legacy as a pioneer of Op Art endures, inviting new generations to explore the fascinating interplay of colour, shape, and perception. Collecting Bridget Riley prints allows art enthusiasts to own a piece of this remarkable legacy, engaging with the art that has redefined visual boundaries.

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