Chant 2 (1967) is one Bridget Riley’s earliest abstract paintings in full colour. When she reintroduced colour into her work in 1967, the artist left behind the forms that had appeared in her earlier black-and-white paintings and chose to work with the stripe instead.
Speaking of this choice, the artist comments: ‘I needed a neutral form to allow the energies of colour and relationships to develop on their own terms without being required to serve some other purpose, such as describing, identifying or even just ‘filling in’’.
In her colour paintings, Riley explores how different colours interact with and affect one another. While she was making studies for Chant 2, for example, the artist discovered that when red and blue stripes surround one another on a white background, they create two different kinds of violet, as well as – intermittently – a ‘fugitive’ yellow.
Bridget Riley — organised by the National Galleries of Scotland in partnership with Hayward Gallery — was at Hayward Gallery from 23 October 2019 until 26 January 2020.
A world renowned contemporary art space, Hayward Gallery hosts exhibitions featuring adventurous and influential artists all year round.