Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery  FAD Magazine
Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery 2019 Photo: Mark Westall

On now Hayward Gallery are showing a major retrospective devoted to the work of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley. Spanning 70 years of the artist’s working life, it is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date.

Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery  FAD Magazine
Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery 2019 Photo: Mark Westall

The exhibition traces both the origins and evolving nature of Bridget Riley’s innovative practice. Chronicling early works to recent paintings, it features her iconic black-and-white works of the 1960s (Kiss, 1961, Movement in Squares, 1961 and Blaze 1, 1962), an extensive range of colour canvases (among them Rise 1, 1968, High Sky, 1991 and Aria, 2012) as well as her rarely-seen figurative works and studies.

Including over 200 works and 50 key paintings, the exhibition is organised thematically rather than chronologically, and draws attention to the interests and themes that recur throughout Riley’s formidable body of work.

Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery  FAD Magazine
Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery 2019 Photo: Mark Westall

The exhibition also features four key wall works (Composition with Circles 4, 2004; Rajasthan, 2012; Quiver 3, 2014; Untitled (Measure for Measure Wall Painting), 2017) which reflect recent shifts of interest in the artist’s studio work. The exhibition also features several large canvases that have seldom been seen in this country (Exposure, 1966, Paean, 1973 and Aubade, 1975) and the only three-dimensional work that the artist ever realised, Continuum (1963/2005). A selection of drawings, studies and preparatory works offer insight into Riley’s working methods, from 1947 to the present day. In the Hayward Gallery foyer, visitors will encounter a rarely seen flag, Flag (Red – Turquoise – White), 1971, which has not been exhibited since the 1970s.


Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery 2019 Photo: Mark Westall

Alongside the exhibition, an extensive public programme has been devised spanning lectures, talks, tours, education events and music inspired by Riley’s work.

Lectures and Panel discussions:

Colour and Rhythm Wednesday 27 November 2019, Level 5 Function Room, 7pm, £8
Curator and writer Francesca Gavin and artists Sara Barker, Rana Begum and Isabelle Cornaro discuss the role and relevance of abstraction in contemporary art today, and in their own practices.

Lynne Cooke: On Bridget Riley Thursday 9 January 2020, Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, 7pm, £8
US-based curator Lynne Cooke discusses aspects of Bridget Riley’s painting in relation to contemporary artistic practice.

Bridget Riley: Painting and Perception Saturday 18 January 2020, Purcell Room, 1pm, £15
Half-day event devoted to the work of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley with speakers and thinkers including art historian Richard Shiff, science writer Philip Ball and artist Liz West.

Courses and workshops:

Blaze: A Poetry Course Inspired by Bridget Riley Monday 11 November – Monday 16 December 2019, Hayward Gallery, £90 for five-session course Led by poet Rachel Long, this five-week poetry course inspired by the work of Bridget Riley explores colour, movement and light within language.

(B)old Visions: Film-making for Dementia Tuesday 5 November 2019, Hayward Gallery, 1:30pm, Free, but ticketed Led by a professional film-maker, a nine-week film-making programme, inspired by the work of artist Bridget Riley, for people with dementia and their carers. Participants are invited to take part with a companion, including carers, friends or family members.

Art Course: Colour – Shape, Sequence and Surprise Monday 18 November 2019 – Monday 9 December 2019, Hayward Gallery, £90 for four-session course A four-week practical course with artist Emyr Williams, drawing on the work of Bridget Riley.

Other artform events programmed around the exhibition:

Georg Friedrich Haas Homage To Bridget Riley Thursday 5 December 2019, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, £15 – £20 London Sinfonietta gives the world premiere of a new Bridget Riley-inspired work by leading Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas.

Steve Reich’s Drumming with the Colin Currie Group Friday 6 and Saturday 7 December 2019, Hayward Gallery, 7.30pm and 9.45pm both nights, £24 Steve Reich’s minimalist masterpiece returns to Hayward Gallery, the venue of its European premiere, performed by Colin Currie Group.

Sean Shibe Friday 10 January 2020, Hayward Gallery, 7.30pm and 9.30pm, £24 Award-winning young guitarist Sean Shibe spans 400 years of music, from lute to electric guitar in a Hayward Gallery concert which complements our major Bridget Riley retrospective.

London Contemporary Orchestra – Rushes Friday 17 January 2020, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, £15 – £25
An installation combining AI, images and music, influenced by the perceptual effects of Bridget Riley’s work, which responds to the sound of the London Contemporary Orchestra performing

Bridget Riley – 26 January 2020 Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
More Info: hayward-gallery-art/bridget-riley

Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery  FAD Magazine
Bridget Riley Hayward Gallery 2019 Photo: Mark Westall

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper'