Bridget Riley is one of the most significant and original painters of our time. This Sunley Room exhibition enables visitors to investigate how Riley’s work relates to the National Gallery Collection.
The exhibition focuses upon Bridget Riley’s most recent paintings. Two of Riley’s works have been made directly on to the walls of the exhibition space. Riley and her studio have created a new wall drawing, ‘Composition with Circles 7’, especially for the longest wall of the Sunley Room. In addition a version of the wall-painting, ‘Arcadia’ – last seen at the major 2008 retrospective in Paris – has been recreated on a larger scale.
Riley and the Old Masters
From her days as a student, the National Gallery has held a special place in Riley’s artistic imagination. Time and again she has turned to compositions by the Old Masters for inspiration, learning from their uses of colour and line. The exhibition includes one of Bridget Riley’s first endeavours as an emerging artist: a copy of the Gallery’s Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?) (1433) by Jan van Eyck.
At the artist’s request, a selection of paintings from the Gallery’s collection are on display in the exhibition, including Mantegna’s Introduction of the Cult of Cybele to Rome (1505–6), Raphael’s Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1507), and three studies by Seurat.
An accompanying film will be shown in the Sunley Room cinema.
Image above: Bridget Riley, 'Red with Red 1', 2007. Private collection © 2010 Bridget Riley. All rights reserved. Courtesy Karsten Schubert, London.