Eleanor Jane Calder
Bridget Louise Riley was born 24 April 1931 in Norwood, London, who is an English painter who is one of the foremost proponents of Op Art. She currently lives and works in London, Cornwall, and France.
Riley was born in London in 1931. She was evacuated during World War II with her mother and sister to a cottage in Cornwall and spent her childhood in Lincolnshire. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. She studied art first at Goldsmith (1949–52), and later at the Royal College of Art (1952–55), where her class mates included artists Peter Blake and Frank Auerbach. Her early work was figurative with a semi-impressionist style. From 1958 to 1959 she worked in an advertising agency while painting in a Pointillist Technique Around 1960 she began to develop her signature Op Art style consisting of black and white geometric patterns that explore the main ideas of sight and created confusing effects on the human eye.
Early in her career, Riley worked as an art teacher from 1957-58 at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Harrow (now known as Sacred Heart Language College). Later she worked at Loughborough (1959), Hornsey College of Art, and Croydon College of Art (1962–64). She also worked as an illustrator for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency before giving it up in 1964.
Riley's mature style, developed during the 1960s, was influenced by a number of sources. It was during this time that Riley began to paint the black and white works for which she is best known. They present a great variety of geometric forms that produce lots of movement or color. In the early 1960s, her works were said to induce sensation and real feeling in viewers as varied as seasick and sky diving. From 1961 to 1964 she worked with the contrast of black and white, occasionally introducing tones of grey.
Following a visit to Egypt in 1980–81 Riley created colors in what she called her Egyptian palette and produced works such as the Ka and Ra series, which...