Call for papers: Bridget Riley symposium

Call for papers: Bridget Riley symposium

Yale Center for British Art

Bridget Riley, Blue and Pink (detail), 2001. Screen print on paper. Courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Gift of John Elderfield and Jeanne Collins. © 2022 Bridget Riley, all rights reserved.

January 17, 2022
Call for papers: Bridget Riley symposium
Abstract due: January 19, 5pm
Bridget Riley Symposium: May 14, 2022
Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06510
United States
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Born in London in 1931, Bridget Riley rose to prominence in the early 1960s for artworks that seemed to defy known formal parameters for abstract painting. Her first solo exhibitions in London (Gallery One, 1962, and Robert Fraser Gallery, 1966 and 1967) and inclusion in seminal group exhibitions of the decade (Bryan Robertson’s The New Generation, Whitechapel Gallery, 1964, and Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 1954–1964, at the former Tate Gallery, 1964) brought her into aesthetic conversations with peers and set the tone for her paintings to be considered and well-received by national audiences. Notably, international attention commenced the following year, 1965, when she was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s pioneering show of contemporary art, The Responsive Eye. Among the ninety-nine artists from fifteen countries selected by William Seitz, Riley stood out for the inclusion of one of her paintings, Current (1964), on the cover of the exhibition catalogue and the wide discussion of it in the critical reaction to the show. Chief among the group, her paintings seemed to best fulfill the show’s curatorial premise of presenting objects as “generators of perceptual responses in the eye and mind of the viewer.” In 1968, she co-represented Britain at the Thirty-Fourth Venice Biennale (along with Phillip King), where she was the first living British painter and first woman to be awarded the International Prize for Painting. After 1968, Riley would no longer be considered only a British artist. 

To mark the occasion of the Yale Center for British Art’s exhibition Bridget Riley: Perceptual Abstraction (March 3–July 24, 2022), this one-day symposium aims to generate new scholarship by recontextualizing and interrogating the impact of transatlantic and international experiences and relationships on the artist’s practice. Riley has long advocated for the primacy of the subjective painting experience, recalling that the post-war interest in perception was international and dynamic with markedly similar works of art being produced on either side of the Atlantic. At the center were Riley’s paintings, privileging the sensorial act of viewing. 

We welcome proposals that situate Riley within US and/or global frameworks—by examining her relationships to artists, collectors, and gallerists; her traveling exhibitions and international shows; her exposure to historic painting and international artworks and artistic traditions—and explore how these connections and experiences have governed and continue to govern her practice and the reception and interpretation of her paintings and drawings. One of the goals of the symposium is to produce the widest possible understanding of Riley.

The symposium will feature James Meyer (Curator of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) as respondent, as well as a conversation with Anoka Faruqee (Associate Professor in Painting and Printmaking, School of Art, Yale University) and Pamela Lee (Carnegie Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, History of Art Department, Yale University).

The YCBA will provide travel and accommodations for successful applicants. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by January 19, 2022 5pm EST. If you have questions or need any additional information, email ycba.research [​at​] Please note, this event will be held online if necessary. Please visit here for information on program details.

RSVP for Call for papers: Bridget Riley symposium
Yale Center for British Art
January 17, 2022

Thank you for your RSVP.

Yale Center for British Art will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.