British artist, whose vibrant optical pattern paintings were central to the Op Art movement of the 1960s.
Riley attended the Royal College of Art from 1952-55 and, until 1960, painted primarily impressionistic landscapes and figures. Her study of the Pointillists led to experiments in colour juxtaposition, and under the influence of Victor Vasarely her work took on a geometric abstraction, in which intricate patterns of black and white or alternating colours are calculated to produce illusions of movement, colour, and topography. She won a first prize at the Venice Biennale in 1968. Notable works include "Drift No. 2" (1966) and "Nineteen Greys" (1968).
She has this to say about being an artist, which I like a lot:
"You can't simply go for being an artist as such. You must wait to find something which excites you, fires your imagination, your desire, creates a real longing to do that one thing. If you can centre on that you can make a beginning. You don't worry where you are going, because you are moving. Desire is the key. It comes and goes. It's rhythmic. You languish: when you have a problem you become bored. Boredom is a tremendous indicator. Your energy goes; it caves in on you; you can't do anything. That's very frightening but you must listen, because you are being told that whatever it is you are doing is not quite right. There are a bewildering number of directions you can go, but it's not right if it doesn't feel right."