Bernard Frize

It was in the mid 1970’s, at a time when painting was regarded by many of his contemporaries as being obsolete that Bernard Frize began to focus his attention exclusively on the act of painting.

Bernard Frize (b. 1949, Saint-Mandé, France) is renowned for a career that is at once formally consistent and technically innovative. It was during the mid-1970s, at a time when painting was regarded by many of Frize’s contemporaries as obsolete, that he began to focus exclusively on the medium. The artist’s paintings are as much traces of an act, as they are physical marks of paint, colour and reflected light, rather than simple indexes of the act of painting.  

Throughout his career, Frize has revisited and revised his own works from earlier series, echoing the intertwining gestural marks that form the structure of many of his paintings, declaring these structures as devices for the removal of compositional decisions. The artist’s paintings proceed in series which are determined by the rules that govern them and are continued until the variations, and the possibility to produce new results, have been exhausted down the line.  

Frize once noted “I think the emergence of a painting is also the moment where the previous work is falling apart, and maybe a new work emerges from this.” The artist’s practice reduces painting to its most fundamental elements, using structure and system to administer and regulate the compositional process and thus absolve the artist from the decision-making process, resulting in compositions that focus solely on their physical method of production.

Selected Works
Installation Views

Bernard Frize. Sans Repentir, 2019

Galerie 3, Centre Pompidou

Paris, France 

Photo credit: Centre Pompidou/Philippe Migeat


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