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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Artist - Bridget Riley

, pictured here in the mid 1960s, was (and still is) a major artist in the Op Art (short for Optical Art) movement, fond of optical illusions and pictures that you should not jump up and down in front of unless you want to get a migraine. I fell in love with her work at an exhibition in London in the 1990s, and further so at an exhibition in the old sewers of Exeter (strange but true. Actually the exhibition itself was in a gallery, but it was connected to the old sewers, which are no longer in use, and down which one can take a guided tour, which we did) some years later.
This is High Sky, 1992, currently in the Nues Museum in Nuremberg.
This is Blaze 1. Most of her early work is in black and white, though she did experiment with colour from quite early on. I admit to preferring the later, coloured works, which are vibrant and exciting rather than cerebral and a bit too smart for their own good, which is how I perceive the black and white ones. However, the colour ones reproduce really well, but the black and white ones don't, and their true power is only apparent (to me) in the flesh, so to speak.

I won't go into her full story, or the whole history of Op Art, as both are easy to find online.

She is enormously inspiration to me in her use of colour and shape. The very first time I saw her work I immediately thought of how it could be used to inspire textile work - at that time I was thinking in terms of intarsia knitting and canvas work. I didn't follow through with any of that at the time, being bogged down with very small children and not having any real design skills to speak of. Now I want to use her to inform beaded embroideries, and this time, having older children and a three year course in textile art and design, maybe it will actually come off!

P.S. Thanks to 'Anonymous' for your comment. If you clicked through my links you would have seen that I had linked to your page and I found it very interesting!
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Bear Chick said...

Her work is so interesting! Can't wait to see what she inspires in you.

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in Bridget Riley you can find out a lot about here here: That's where the picture of Bridget Riley you're using came from originally... I know since I scanned it in..!