Bridget Riley Presented With Sikkens Prize For Colour

Bridget Riley the The 81-year old British artist associated with the OP-Art movement has become the first woman to be presented with the prestigious Sikkens Prize, a Dutch art award that recognises the use of colour. The Sikkens Foundation honoured her work for its “purity, subtlety and precision”.

To mark the prize, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague is hosting an exhibition of her art that will run until June. “I hope people will find things in it to look at,” Riley stated. The Sikkens Foundation has described Riley’s use of colour as “a sensational oeuvre from which a new generation of artists is drawing inspiration”. The Gemeentemuseum exhibition includes a new 20 metre (65 foot) wall mural, painted by assistants, entitled Composition with Circles 9.

The award has been presented every five years since 1955 to a painter living in Europe in honor of his or her lifetime’s artistic accomplishment. Riley, who was born in London in 1931, is one of the most distinguished female painters of our time. On July 1, 2012 she was honored for her life’s oeuvre with the City of Siegen’s Rubens Prize.The Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen is honoring Bridget Riley with an exhibition of her work. to mark the occasion.

Bridget Riley since the mid-1960s is known for her distinctive, optically vibrant paintings, called coined “Op Art.” She explores optical phenomena and juxtaposes color either by using a chromatic technique of identifiable hues or by selecting achromatic colors (black, white or gray). In doing so, her work appears to flicker, pulsate and move, encouraging the viewer’s visual tension. Riley’s vibrant optical pattern paintings, which she painted in the 1960s, were hugely popular and become a hallmark of the period. As your eyes explore the picture to the left, can you continue to see momentary afterimages (white dots) that cause a slight flickering effect?