Audio transcript

Bridget Riley 'Fall'

Narrator: The British artist Bridget Riley painted 'Fall' in 1963 at a time when she was experimenting with optical stability and instability through contrasts of black and white. Riley herself explains further

To experience what I was trying to express in the painting, one should look at it close to, from a distance, say, of six to ten feet. When I was drawing the curve for 'Fall', I was very much aware of Matisse's plumb-line, which he said he always held in mind when noting the distribution of weight in the human body and in relation to which he saw its curves and balances. In 'Fall' I too began with the vertical, moving the curves from side to side in an equidistant balance. The tension of the painting increases as they diminish in depth, reaching the bottom of the painting.