In 1960, Bridget Riley started exploring the visual sensation of looking.  She investigated the dynamic potential of optical effects.  This would become known as op art.  Riley mostly worked with the contrast of black and white, occasionally introducing different tones of grey.  In Fall, she repeated a single curving line to create varying optical frequencies.  She said of this work: I try to organise a field of visual energy which accumulates until it reaches maximum tension.”.


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Polyvinyl acetate paint on hardboard



Original / Edition

Original painting, purchased in 1963 by Tate


Bridget Riley is an abstract painter who came to prominence in the American Op Art movement of the 1960s, after her inclusion in the 1965 exhibition “The Responsive Eye” at The Museum of Modern Art. There, her black-and-white paintings—which created illusions of movement—were shown alongside works by Victor Vasarely, Frank Stella, and Ellsworth Kelly, among others. Her work is ultimately inspired by nature—“although in completely different terms,” she says, adding, “For me nature is not landscape, but the dynamism of visual forces—an event rather than an appearance.” 

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