Peter Sedgley was born in London in 1930, and studied architecture and building work. As a young architect, he was tasked with the rebuilding of post-war Britain, but resigned in protest against what he perceived as attempts to simply recreate, rather than to innovate. He then served as a radar technician in the RAF and was a founding member of a design and construction cooperative, before embarking upon a career as an artist. Self-taught, he developed an early interest in colour theory, and read Goethe and Klee. He found almost instant recognition for his series of large-scale paintings, in which he sought to "establish a tonal range following the chromatic order, so that a pure colour can be equated tonally with a mutated colour". When unveiled in his first solo show at McRoberts and Tunnard, the exhibits were sold to the Tate as well as the Arts Council of Great Britain. A year later, he was included in The Responsive Eye, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. This seminal survey show was the first to provide a comprehensive overview of such new trends in modern art, and which was soon to become known as Op Art. The paintings of Josef Albers, Frank Stella, Vasarely and his friend Bridget Riley all featured in this large-scale exhibition.