Bridget Riley is an English painter best known for her black and white Op-Art paintings. She was born in 1931 in Norwood, London but during the Second World War she was evacuated to Cornwall with her mother and sister. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and then went on to study at Goldsmiths College and later the Royal College of Art. Here she studied alongside Peter Blake and Frank Auerbach. During her studies, life drawing became her main interest. She found this time difficult as she wanted to establish her own style and express herself in her own way but found herself restricted in an institutional framework.
After finishing at The Royal College of Art she suffered a physical and mental breakdown. She went to Cornwall to recuperate and tried to paint but had little success. She then went on to become a teacher at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, then on to Loughborough School of Art, Hornsey College of Art, and Croydon College of Art.
During the 1960s she developed her best known style, painting black and white Op-Art works. She also experimented with tone and colour and in 1967 she produced her first stripe painting. Riley was influenced by Impressionists such as Georges Seurat and the Futurist Giacomo Balla, inspired by their use of colour and light.
Riley has exhibited globally, starting out with group exhibitions in London galleries, then moving on to solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
She currently spends her time between Cornwall, London and France.