Bridget Riley Working Drawings
Texts by Lucy Askew, Gene Baro, Lynne Cooke, Maurice de Sausmarez, Michael Harrison, John Leighton Sir, Jennifer Licht, and Bridget Riley
The first-ever book dedicated to the celebrated British artist’s working drawings, created under the aegis of the Bridget Riley Art Foundation
Bridget Riley’s paintings are developed carefully over time, the result of methodically working through pictorial variables such as colour, tone, scale, and rhythm. Studies are central to this process, allowing Riley to concentrate on the analysis and synthesis that lie at the heart of her working practice. Riley says, ‘Because my work is based on enquiry, studies are my chief method of exploration and my way into paintings’ (2005).
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 Edinburgh 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.
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Artists: Bridget Riley
Publication Date: 2021
Dimensions: 10 × 11 in | 25.4 × 27.9
Reproductions: 200 illustrations
Retail: $60 | £45
One of the most significant artists working today, Bridget Riley’s dedication to the interaction of form and color has led to a continued exploration of perception. From the early 1960s, she has used elementary shapes such as lines, circles, curves, and squares to create visual experiences that actively engage the viewer, at times triggering optical sensations of vibration and movement. Her earliest black-and-white compositions offer impressions of several other pigments, while ensuing, multi-chromatic works present color as an active component. Although abstract, her practice is closely linked with nature, which she understands to be “the dynamism of visual forces—an event rather than an appearance.”