Bridget Riley, Rêve, 1999. Courtesy of the artist

47. Rêve

ArtistBridget Riley
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions8978 × 9334 in. (228 × 238.3 cm)
CollectionCourtesy of the artist

Rêve and Enchant (cat. 48) belong to a group of large canvases that Riley produced between 1999 and 2003, in which she further develops color as a spatial element. These paintings evoke the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse and the work of Paul Cézanne — artists Riley has carefully studied. In Rêve, planes of color sweep diagonally upward. Reminiscent of highly structured brushstrokes, they create the impression of shallow spaces within and above the picture plane. As Riley explains, “When played through a series of arabesques, the curve is wonderfully fluid, supple and strong. It can twist and bend, flow and sway, sometimes with the diagonal, sometimes against, so that the tempo is either accelerated or held back, delayed.”