Bridget Riley

Fall

1963

Medium
Polyvinyl acetate paint on hardboard
Dimensions
Support: 1410 x 1403 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1963
Reference
T00616

Display caption

‘I try to organise a field of visual energy which accumulates until it reaches maximum tension’, Riley said of this work. From 1961 to 1964 she worked with the contrast of black and white, occasionally introducing tonal scales of grey. In Fall, a single perpendicular curve is repeated to create a field of varying optical frequencies. Though in the upper part a gentle relaxed swing prevails, the curve is rapidly compressed towards the bottom of the painting. The composition verges on the edge of disintegration without the structure ever breaking.

Gallery label, March 2010

Catalogue entry

T00616 FALL 1963

Inscr. ‘Riley’ 63' on edge of support b.r.
Emulsion on hardboard, 55 1/2×55 1/4 (141×140·5).
Purchased from Gallery One (Grant-in-Aid) 1963.
Exh: Gallery One, September 1963 (15, repr.).

The artist wrote (28 October 1963) that this work was painted in June–July 1963 and added: ‘I find it difficult to make a comment concerning “Fall” for your catalogue mainly because it is a recent work and gives rise to certain possibilities I intend to develop in future paintings before reaching a position to make a conclusive statement - I try to organise a field of visual energy which accumulates until it reaches maximum tension.’

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II