“[Bridget] Riley’s interest in art had 'developed', she says, by the end of the war. Her motivation came from 'within' rather than being inspired by her aunt, who had studied fine art at London’s Goldsmiths, which Riley later attended. The painting she submitted for her entrance examination—a 1947 copy of the National Gallery’s Van Eyck portrait of a man wearing a red turban—can be seen in a room in Edinburgh devoted to her early figurative work, much of which has never been seen in public.
Riley’s mature paintings—such as Movement in Squares (1961), which buckles and warps like a distorted chessboard—have such autonomy and self-confidence that it is tempting to assume that she emerged from the Royal College of Art (which she attended after Goldsmiths), in 1955, almost fully formed as an abstract artist. In fact, the opposite was the case.”
Read the full interview in The Telegraph
Bridget Riley is on view at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh through September 22, 2019.
Image: Installation view, Bridget Riley, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, 2019