Arts & Culture

Paintings of purring lines, zips and tongues cavort and play on an epic scale

Beam me up Bridget

ON A COLD AND SOGGY WINTER DAY we set out for London to visit the major retrospective of artist Bridget Riley. She is one of those painters that has to be seen in person. There is definitely a sense of being transformed by or through the colour relationships she explores in her paintings. The result is they create a deep and lasting positive feeling, like being beamed up into the purring lines and out the other side (in the process) a kind of re-materialisation happens. Bridget Riley experiments with an obvious love for nature and careful consideration of forms that enable repetiton and complexity of moving parts and associations — emitting and colliding across the canvas in lines, vortexes, spots, triangles, zips and tongues of colourful rhyme. The horizontal and vertical wave paintings (apart from being impossible to photograph) have an energetic field and absorb time with a universal hum; a bit like hearing a tree full of bees and smelling blossom for the first time. We were lucky to be left alone long enough for the marks on the canvas to somehow take over, there is nothing illusory about the experience either, it is very physical and months later still brings a sense of visual ecstasy. Art was definitely the reset our mind needed and the affect of spending time with Bridget Riley paintings has been lasting 

IN PICTURESBridget Riley at the Hayward Gallery in London.

Towards ‘Lagoon’ 1992 (Above) 

Bridget Riley

Painting with Verticals 3 2006

Bridget Riley

Elapse 1982 (detail)

Bridget Riley

Cataract 3 1967 (detail)

Bridget Riley

Pause 1964 (detail)

Bridget Riley

Current 1964 (detail)

Drift 2 Bridget Riley

Drift 2 1966

Bridget Riley

Ra 1981 (detail)

Bridget Riley

From Here 1994 (detail)

Bridget Riley

Burn 1964 (left) Pink Landscape 1960 (right)


Words: Glen Robinson & Rebecca Robinson
Photography: Glen Robinson & Rebecca Robinson
Post Art: GRRR

Artworks: Bridget Riley 

All photographs taken in January 2020.
Shot on iPhone SE.

Bridget Riley at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre in London.

Bridget Riley