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Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio



Bridget Riley considers drawing to be an essential part of her—and any—artistic practice.

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Self-Portrait, 1956

Bridget Riley. Collection of the artist

For more than 60 years, the British artist has created abstract, geometric drawings that challenge and delight the senses. These studies range from working drawings on graph paper to finished gouaches and serve alternately to anticipate and accompany her paintings.

Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio is the first and most extensive museum exhibition dedicated exclusively to Riley’s drawings in over half a century. The exhibition presents approximately 90 sheets from the artist’s own collection, kept as part of her dynamic studio practice. These works cover the full range of her career—from her student days in the late 1940s, when she dedicated herself exclusively to drawing courses at Goldsmiths College, through her groundbreaking black-and-white optical works of the early 1960s and the innovative color studies she has produced from the late 1960s to the present day.

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Red, Green, and Blue Twisted Curves, 1979

Bridget Riley. Collection of the artist

In one gallery of the exhibition, Riley has selected works from the Art Institute’s permanent collection to pay homage to the artists who have influenced her work. These include paintings and drawings by Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Georges Seurat, and others.

Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio is co-organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hammer Museum, and the Morgan Library & Museum. The exhibition is curated by Cynthia Burlingham, director of the Grunewald Center for the Graphic Arts and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Hammer Museum; Jay A. Clarke, Rothman Family Curator, Prints and Drawings, Art Institute of Chicago; and Rachel Federman, associate curator, Modern and Contemporary Drawings, Morgan Library and Museum. An accompanying catalogue reproduces all works in the exhibition and includes new essays by Clarke and Federman, as well as art historian and critic Thomas Crow.


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