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Bridget Riley at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Bridget Riley, Bali, 1983. Private Collection.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA.- A major retrospective of works by acclaimed British painter Bridget Riley opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. One of Britain’s most respected artists Riley’s distinguished career encompasses over forty years of uncompromising and remarkable innovation. Her distinctive, optically vibrant paintings are celebrated for their ability to engage the viewer’s sensations and perceptions, producing visual experiences that are complex and challenging, subtle and arresting. A simple vocabulary of colours and abstract shapes form the starting point for Riley’s paintings. From this she develops formal progressions, colour relationships and repetitive structures to generate powerful sensations of movement, light and space.

During her childhood, living in Cornwall, she formed an acute responsiveness to natural phenomena. In particular, the effects of light and colour in the landscape made a deep impression. Of her paintings, she has commented: ‘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…One moment there will be nothing to look at and the next second the canvas seems to refill, to be crowded with visual events.’ This exhibition, organised in association with The British Council, features over 35 major paintings tracing the development of her work from the early 1960s to the present day and a selection of the artists working drawings, sourced from the artist’s studio, providing a unique insight into the artists working processes. Included also is a selection of the artist’s celebrated early black and white paintings, which became famous for their powerful visual sensations and which led to her inclusion in the seminal exhibition The Responsive Eye at MOMA in 1965, as well as a number of works from the late 1960s which represent Riley’s earliest exploration of colour.



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