Bridget Riley’s latest exhibition has opened at the Hayward Gallery, 48 years after her first show there. The venue itself has also reopened after being closed for preparations since October 7.
The exhibition, which runs until January 26, 2020, is Riley’s third solo exhibition at the Southbank Centre, having previously shown in 1971 and also 1992.
Coming from the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh to the Hayward in London, the exhibition is her largest retrospective show yet. The exhibition includes more than 200 of her iconic works, which date back over 70 years to the start of her career.
The pieces include some of her earliest drawings from when she was an art student in the 1940s to paintings completed in the last year, at the age of 88.Dubbed by the gallery as “one of the most distinguished and internationally renowned artists working today”, Riley first made a name for herself in the 1970s.
Known for her Op Art style, the British artist’s approach to painting involves intricate pattern making and colour balancing, which, when added together, create a vibrant and engaging spectacle for the viewer.
Speaking to one exhibition goer, Frances Mann, it’s clear that art fans in London are excited for Riley’s return to the Hayward: “I actually saw Bridget Riley’s exhibition at this gallery in the 90s. It’s amazing to come back and see some of the original pieces that made her famous then but also the new paintings she’s done since then.”
Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Bridget Riley back to Hayward Gallery with an exhibition that will offer visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience works from the full span of her brilliant career.
“Her paintings transform the act of seeing into a festive occasion, something at once riveting and revelatory. Engaging every viewer in new acts of discovery, her work is not just vision-enhancing but life-enhancing. These are paintings that make you feel more alive as they reaffirm the link between seeing and thinking,” he added.The Hayward Gallery, which was built in 1968 by Higgs and Hill, is renowned for presenting some of the world’s most innovative and creative artists. Its major solo exhibitions have included renowned names such as Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon.
Along with the exhibition, there are many public events happening within the next few months inspired by Riley’s work. These include a panel discussion about Colour and Rhythm on November 27, at the Royal Festival Hall and a free “Teacher’s Twilight” evening viewing of the exhibition for new teachers on October 31.
Tickets and further information can be found at: www.southbankcentre.co.uk
Featured image: Bridget Riley’s painting High Sky (1991) courtesy of the Hayward Gallery