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Messengers by Bridget Riley

A new work at the National Gallery

Opens 17 January 2019

Location: Annenberg Court

Admission free

Bridget Riley's work transforms Annenberg Court

Spanning a vast 10 x 20 metres, the work comprises coloured discs painted directly onto the surface of the Gallery’s Annenberg Court.

The title, ‘Messengers’, is inspired by a phrase Constable used when referring to clouds, but might also be an allusion to the numerous angels, bearers of news, that we see in the skies of so many National Gallery pictures. 

Bridget Riley (born 1931) has a long-standing relationship with the Gallery; she made copies of paintings in the collection including Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?), 1433, as a teenager as part of her portfolio when applying to Goldsmiths College, London, just after the end of the Second World War, and Georges Seurat's Bathers at Asnières (1884) while training as an artist. 

In 1989 Riley was invited to select that year’s 'Artist’s Eye' exhibition and between 2010 and 2011 the Gallery held her acclaimed exhibition 'Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work'.


Commissioned by the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery, supported by Rothschild & Co, 2018.


Image above: Bridget Riley. Image courtesy of the Bridget Riley Archive