25 September – 13 December 2009
Bridget Riley: Flashback is the first in a major new series of touring exhibitions from the Arts Council collection, Southbank Centre. Riley’s distinctive and optically vibrant paintings generate extraordinary sensations of movement, light and space. Eight large scale paintings will be on show, with four coming from Riley’s personal collection. Alongside these are around 30 drawings and studies that illuminate her working methods over her five-decade-long-career. Many of these will be exhibited for the first time.
The exhibition is also an insight into the role of the Arts Council collection in supporting British artists and collecting the art treasures of the future. A seminal work in the show is Movement in Squares, which was purchased by the Arts Council Collection in 1962, the year after it was made. Consistently exhibited in retrospectives of her work, she credits the work as the beginning of her breakthrough into abstraction. Riley sees a direct correlation between her extensive studies in drawing from life and the development of this work, which allowed her to ‘trust the eye at the end of my pencil.’
An illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition with new text by the artist that is a very personal account of her approach to making work. This is the first text written by Riley about her work in many years. Also included is an essay by Michael Bracewell and a unique list of all works by Bridget Riley held in public collections in the UK – demonstrating how Riley’s work has been collected throughout the country for more than five decades.
An Arts Council Collection exhibition from Southbank Centre, London.
Bridget Riley, ‘Ecclesia’ 1985.
Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.