Bridget Riley at Hayward Gallery

Bridget Riley at Hayward Gallery

23 October 2019 – 26 January 2020

This major retrospective exhibition is devoted to the work of Britain’s most celebrated artist, Bridget Riley, spanning an incredible 70 years of her working life.

Bridget Riley’s work is all about perception and abstraction, challenging the viewer through the skilful balancing of form and colour. Like giant optical illusions, the canvasses seem to vibrate and move on the walls, they quiver, shimmer, roll and pulse. The clever use of subtly changes of shades and geometric shapes draw you in and make you look not once or twice, but time and again. The pictures will make your head spin and you feel dizzy; your eyes are being deceived and your mind played with – but in a good, inspiring, creative and utterly brilliant way. You will stare at them, trying to figure out how it is done, and just as you think you have figured it out, that moment is over, and you start to wonder again.

(Click on images to enlarge)

The exhibition takes you from the origins of Bridget Riley’s innovative practice to the present day. It features her iconic black-and-white works of the 1960s (Kiss, 1961, Movement in Squares, 1961 and Blaze 1, 1962), an extensive range of colour canvases (including Rise 1, 1968, High Sky, 1991 and Aria, 2012), as well as rarely-seen figurative works and studies  and includes over 200 works and 50 key paintings, drawing attention to the interests and themes that recur throughout Riley’s extensive body of work.

The architecture of Hayward Gallery allows the installation of several key wall works (Composition with Circles 4, 2004, Rajasthan, 2012, Quiver 3, 2014), and the exhibition also features several large canvases that have seldom been seen in this country (Exposure, 1966, Paean, 1973 and Aubade, 1975), as well as the only three-dimensional work that the artist ever realised, Continuum (1963/2005). A selection of drawings, studies and preparatory works offer insight into Riley’s working methods, from 1947 to the present day.

Bridget Riley is the artist’s third solo show at Hayward, after shows in 1971 and 1992.

Ralph Rugoff, Director of Hayward Gallery said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Bridget Riley back to Hayward Gallery with an exhibition that offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience works from the full span of her brilliant career. Her paintings transform the act of seeing into a festive occasion, something at once riveting and revelatory. Engaging every viewer in new acts of discovery, her work is not just vision-enhancing but life-enhancing. These are paintings that make you feel more alive as they reaffirm the link between seeing and thinking.”

Bridget Riley is organised by the National Galleries of Scotland in partnership with Hayward Gallery. The exhibition is generously supported by Sotheby’s, the Bridget Riley Exhibition Supporters’ Group and The Baring Foundation.

Hayward Gallery opening times:

11am – 7pm every day except Tuesdays when the gallery is closed. Late night opening on Thursdays until 9pm.

Full price tickets are £18.00, but there are concessions for children, students, pensioners and people receiving Universal Credit. For details visit the website.

Hayward Gallery

Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX




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