News Archive 2017

Kiss (1961) comes to The Courtauld Gallery

14 Feb 2017

The Courtauld Gallery is delighted to announce a significant addition to its modern collection displays: British artist Bridget Riley’s Kiss, on loan from a private collection and on display until mid-June 2017.

Kiss is a pivotal work in Riley’s career, the earliest of her pioneering black and white paintings from the 1960s. Riley skilfully manipulates geometric forms to powerful sensory effect, enhanced by the opposition between black and what she termed “the visual flash” of the contrasting white.

This loan follows The Courtauld Gallery’s critically acclaimed Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat exhibition in 2015. In 1959 Riley painted a copy of Seurat’s The Bridge at Courbevoie (1886-7), one of the highlights of The Courtauld Gallery’s collection. It proved to be a breakthrough moment for the artist, offering her a new understanding of colour and perception. The lessons that Riley learned from Seurat emboldened her to strike out into the realm of pure abstraction. Kiss is the very first of her major abstract paintings and set the artist on the artistic path that has brought her international acclaim.