Bridget Riley at Courtauld Institute

Learning from Seurat

This is a small show, an exhibition of just seven paintings at the top of the Courtauld spiral staircase. What is achieved in this series of works is a very real sense of artistic evolution, a personal progression of Bridget Riley from a young graduate, studying her great inspiration and learning from him, to the shaping of her own practise. Her work for more than fifty years has taken juxtaposition of colour as one of its key hallmarks; it is from her studying of Seurat's pointillism that this fascination stemmed. 

The Bridge at Courbevoie, 1886-87

The Bridge at Courbevoie, 1886-87

The show beings with the Courtauld's own The Bridge at Courbevoie by Georges Seurat - the original and the larger reproduction by Riley herself. It's a copy she made soon after graduation, a detailed study of just how the small coloured dots accumulated to form a more recognisable image. Something harnessed again for the capturing of Spanish hills (Pink Landscape, 1960) employing the technique in a completely original composition. And the coloured dots, once elongated to the ultimate stretch of the canvas become stripes, like those lined up in Late Morning I, Riley's first strip painting from 1967.  

This year's earlier show of her Curve Paintings at the De La Warr Pavilion was a joy of colour and form, this is a more serious and considered series of works but in its brevity it succeeds in a different way; this is a very clear sequence of intension and development.

http://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/what-on/exhibitions-displays/bridget-riley-learning-from-seurat until January 17th