The Life of Riley

By on 27/01/2010 in News

Celebrated paintings from the Arts Council Collection and never before seen drawings loaned by the artist herself will all be included in 'Bridget Riley - Flashback' a major free exhibition at the Waterhall from 6 February - 23 May, alongside a painting from Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery's own collection.

The exhibition celebrates one of Britain's best known and respected artists - Bridget Riley. Since the mid-1960s she has been celebrated for her distinctive, optically vibrant paintings and is one of the foremost proponents of 'Op Art' – a genre of visual art that uses geometric shapes and vivid colours to create optical illusions. The show includes notable paintings from the start of her career as well as ambitious and powerful works of recent years.

'Bridget Riley - Flashback' is the first in a new series of Arts Council Collection exhibitions that centre on one of the founding purposes of the Collection, which was to support emerging artists through the purchase of their work.  One of the highlights of the show will be Riley's iconic Movement in Squares, which was purchased in 1962, the year in which it was made.  This will be an added delight for local audiences as the painting was unavailable for the Arts Council Collection's 'How to Improve the World' exhibition in Birmingham in 2007.
The show will include a selection of works on paper that have been lent by the artist and have never been shown in public before.  There is also on display one of the three works by Bridget Riley that are owned by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – the celebrated abstract painting 'Cherry Autumn 1963'.
Councillor Martin Mullaney Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said; “I am delighted that Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery are showing the 'Bridget Riley - Flashback' exhibition as it will provide a great opportunity for local people to see works by one of the most celebrated British artists of recent times on their own doorstep.”  

For further information please visit or telephone 0121 464 8887.  Free entry.


Media contact – Jason Lewis on 0121 303 4266, or Neil Holland on 0121 303 3485

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