Since the early 1950s, Bridget Riley has continually pursued the fallibility of the human eye in the Op artworks for which she is best known. During the 1960s, Riley became increasingly interested in exploring qualities of fast and slow motion, cool and warm pigments, static and active forms, and confined and open spaces. Initially, she used a restrained approach to color. In Drift No. 2, the precisely placed, wavy, vertical lines modulate from dark to light to dark again. Overall, they appear to vibrate and sway beyond the confines of the canvas. At the end of the 1960s, a trip to Egypt inspired Riley to abandon her stark palette, and she began incorporating bands of color and mosaic-like patterns into her work.
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018