Bridget Riley (b. 1931)
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Bridget Riley (b. 1931)

Study no. 1 for Studio International Cover

Details
Bridget Riley (b. 1931)
Study no. 1 for Studio International Cover
signed, titled and dated ‘Study no. 1 for Studio International Cover Bridget Riley 71’ (lower left)
gouache and pencil on paper
36 x 27 1/8in. (91.4 x 69cm.)
Executed in 1971
Provenance
Rowan Gallery, London.
Private Collection.
Juda Rowan Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by Jeremy Lancaster, 7 April 1983.
Literature
Studio International, July–August 1971, vol. 182, no. 935 (another variant illustrated in colour on the cover).
Exhibited
London, Rowan Gallery, Bridget Riley: Drawings, 1971.
London, The Hayward Gallery, Bridget Riley: Paintings and Drawings 1951-1971, 1971, p. 79, no. 198.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord

Lot Essay

Executed in 1971, the present work is one of a series of studies for the pivotal painting Zing 1 of the same year, and for the cover of Studio International published that summer. The issue coincided with Riley’s landmark touring European retrospective, which completed its run to great acclaim at the Hayward Gallery, London, during this period. Both the present work and Zing 1 featured in the exhibition, which attracted more than 40,000 visitors and earnt Riley significant critical acclaim: Robert Melville, writing in the New Statesman, claimed that ‘No painter, alive or dead, has ever made us more conscious of our eyes than Bridget Riley’ (R. Melville, ‘An Art Without Accident’, New Statesman, 23 July 1971, p. 121). Acquired by Jeremy Lancaster in 1983, the present work offers an intriguing insight into Riley’s process. The coloured stripe paintings that dominated her oeuvre between 1967 and 1974 represent the cornerstone of her optical investigations: she would return to the format in the early 1980s. In Zing 1, she began to experiment with overlapping and entwining her thin pigmented strips, creating a chromatic complexity that would find extended expression in her subsequent curve paintings. Her preparatory works on paper, comprising pencil drawing with hand-mixed ribbons of gouache, provided a critical laboratory in which she calculated her increasingly daring perceptual effects. The present work demonstrates this draughtsmanship at its finest, documenting the precision with which the artist honed her understanding of colour, line and form. This October, Riley will return to the Hayward Gallery for the second installment of her current retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

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