Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist's Studio
For Bridget Riley (b. 1931) the act of drawing is a process of selection, an essential way of discovering and resolving problems presented during the course of developing her abstract paintings. Drawing has remained a crucial part of Riley’s practice for more than six decades. Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio is the first and most extensive museum exhibition dedicated exclusively to the artist’s drawings in over half a century and the first major exhibition of her work at a West Coast museum.
This exhibition presents approximately ninety sheets and covers the full range of Riley’s career, from her student days in the late 1940s, when she dedicated herself exclusively to drawing courses at Goldsmiths College in London, through her groundbreaking black-and-white optical works of the early 1960s, to the innovative color studies she has undertaken from the late 1960s to the present day. It includes rough studies; line drawings; tonal studies; preliminary works with written notations, tape, bands, and cut-and-pasted shapes; and highly finished drawings that stand as independent works. The majority of the drawings come from the artist’s studio, where they are retained as foundational elements crucial to her practice and always available for reference and reconsideration. The selection of works on view allows us to consider Riley’s practice from its earliest beginnings to the first decade of this century.