Composed of twenty vertical bands of colour, the surface of Fête is broken up by small parallelograms cutting across the upright bands, with no discernible pattern to their organisation. The title, Fête, taken from the French word for ‘celebration’, could also refer to the traditional outdoor events held in British villages during the summer. Riley confesses she names her works retrospectively, selecting names which draw on “memories of sensations in the past which have some sort of correspondence with those in the painting”.
The design of Fête relates to other works featuring zigs or rhomboids which Riley produced between 1986 and 1997. All the works included similarly feature vertical bands combined with diagonally orientated areas of contrasting colour. Moving away from the lines and geometric shapes that defined her earlier works, in the Zig/ Rhomboid works, distinctions between colour and shape fall away, each leaning on the other for definition within the same plane.