lizetta loves

Bridget Riley

Whenever I go to Tate Britain I always ensure I make time to find Bridget Riley’s corner of the gallery. It helps that the main displays are ordered by date so you just need to go back or forward in time depending on where you find yourself.

They must have a few pieces in their collection as the artwork on display changes periodically, but I don’t mind what it is. I’ll always take a few minutes or more to stand and look at her artwork. Her use of geometry, lines and colours fascinates me. It’s also interesting to see how other people respond to it. Today I didn’t have long to enjoy it but it was the first place I headed on arrival. Sometimes I save it until the end of a visit.

I was first introduced to the work of Bridget Riley by my secondary school art teacher Mr Clarkson. I can only ever say her name the way he did with his northern accent. Something about her work clearly struck a chord with me as she’s one of the few artists I remember learning anything about at school other than the usual suspects.

I loved the retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 2019 where there was more detail about how she created her work, including sketches and calculations that demonstrated the precision of her work. In January I went to an opening at Cristian Roberts Gallery that I heard about due to another artist being included but seeing her name on the bill made me even more excited to go. Her work also came up recently in a video relating to a stitchalong I’m doing, talking about how she uses colour and the number of colours she may use in one piece compared to the number of colours you can see.

Untitled (Nineteen Greys), 1968 – Cristea Roberts Gallery 18 January 2024

I think she divides opinion simply because some people find themselves feeling dizzy when looking at her work due to the optical illusions they create. I’ll admit today I did have to blink a couple of times to reset my eyes as I did feel a little queasy. I’ll never cease to find her work fascinating though.

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