This creation by Bridget Riley is one of the best examples to be seen of the avant-garde movement of Op Art (Optical Art), a pictorial movement that developed in the mid-20th century and that has Victor Vasarely as one of its greatest representatives.
Specifically, this work is a realization created from an emulsion on board, with the date 1963, and which is preserved among the fonds of the Tate Collection in London.
The purpose of the image is to expressly confuse the gaze. The curves made with black and white lines create the illusion that there is a sculpture in relief as if protruding from the picture plane. In addition, these curves cause a clear idea of movement. A sensation that increases if we look towards the lower part of the painting, where these curves increase in intensity due to the progressive compression to which they are subjected.
Riley relates everything to the observed world, strange as it may seem to us, it draws parallels with nature and the universe that surrounds it. And in this case the image is about the relationship between the viewer and the reality of the environment around it. He intended to convert the usual and natural visual world into the visual world of Op Art. Here he does not intend to present us with a waterfall or a simple wave, his objective is to illustrate a broader concept ofnature. And for this, as he himself described it, he tried to “organize a field of visual energy that accumulates until it reaches maximum tension.”
Here that energy is generated from each of the individual lines that create the work. The larger ones merge with the smaller ones, and that precisely gives us the idea of movement. But it also plays with our minds, since it is actually posing the unique visual relationship of each viewer that occurs in each person when looking at the work of art, which immediately evokes an image in the brain of that viewer. Here he tries it from the relationship between white and black, and we all ask ourselves what is the positive and negative space. What has he painted, the white lines or the black lines? Or both? Or are they compound lines?
This painter has been evolving, in fact his production reaches the 21st century. In this phase he has devoted himself more to the creation of paintings of an abstract nature in which he creates relationships of color, as well as the interaction of projected light.