Bridget Riley: Prints 1962 - 2020 will focus on Riley’s printmaking oeuvre, bringing together over fifty years of her graphic works. These rarely exhibited works, which come directly from the artist’s archive, will be displayed alongside a new print edition and wall painting that will be unveiled at the exhibition. The show at the Cristea Roberts Gallery follows Riley’s critically acclaimed 2019 painting retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Bridget Riley’s prints reflect not only precision but the beauty of her painting practice; this selective retrospective will trace the arc of her innovative printmaking from its origins in the 1960s through to the present day. Riley made her first screenprint in 1962, and since then has gone on to create a significant and varied body of graphic work. Working almost exclusively in silkscreen since the 1960s, a medium which enables precise delineation of form and colour, Riley’s prints are amongst some of the most accomplished and technically advanced that have ever been made.
Director David Cleaton-Roberts comments; “To be working with Bridget on an exhibition of her prints is the realisation of a long-held ambition of mine. Seldom have so many of her printed works been exhibited together on access she has given us to her print archive. This retrospective exhibition will offer visitors a rare opportunity to explore the complex visual sensations that continue to shape Riley’s graphic work over almost sixty years.”
Although the appearance of Riley’s work has shifted over the years, the consistency of the intention has remained steadfast. In the first half of the 1960s Riley worked initially in black-and-white, adding only gradations of grey tones and using squares, circles, discs, ovals and curves as formal pictorial elements. Later the greys took on colour and became a theme in their own right. In the second half of the 1960s she introduced colour, restricting herself chiefly to stripes, lines, diagonals and more curves, creating a new sense of movement in her work.
These complex structures produce visual sensations and experiences that are both subtle and arresting. In her later work Riley explores broader pictorial issues, breaking up the picture plane and opening up sensations of space and depth. Wall paintings, for instance the Arcadia group and Rajasthan gather momentum. Repetition and rhythm continue to play a vital part in building and holding together these new plastic forces of the recent work.
Alongside the launch of a new print edition, the exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a brand new, comprehensive catalogue raisonné of the artist’s prints which is designed by Tim Harvey and published by Thames & Hudson and The Bridget Riley Art Foundation.
All visitors are a required to book an appointment prior to visiting Bridget Riley: Prints 1962 – 2020. Click here to book your free visit or email [email protected] if you would prefer to speak to a member of staff. We look forward to welcoming you to the gallery as we continue to adapt our working practices to suit the current climate.
A limited number of the works on display will be available to purchase. In early September we will be offering private preview appointments to collectors interested in acquiring prints, including the new work Measure for Measure. If you are interested in booking one of these or receiving an availability list please contact us directly via [email protected]
Film | Bridget Riley: Prints 1962 - 2020
In the Press: 'Bridget Riley: The Complete Prints' examines the artist’s printmaking from the 60s to now
Bridget Riley: The Complete Prints 1962–2020
The exhibition coincides with the publication of Bridget Riley: The Complete Prints 1962–2020, which features a foreword by Bridget Riley, essays by Craig Hartley, Lynn Mac Ritchie and Robert Kudielka, catalogue raisonné by Alexandra Tommasini and Rosa Gubay.
Published by Thames &Hudson and the Bridget Riley Art Foundation, the book is available to purchase here.