Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present the second exhibition of new work by Bernard Frize to be held in our Hong Kong space. Since the late 1970s, Frize has explored and elaborated the processes that define painting, with inventive means of applying paint that allow him to develop a profound exploration of his method and of the materiality of the medium. Devising a process that allows the painting to emerge through its implementation, the works develop out of the logic of material procedures instead of a predetermined composition. More agent for the prescribed procedures than architect, Frize eradicates personal decision rather than premeditating the end result. Free of personal expression, his practice is based on technique and movement in which paint, tools and formulated methods for applying paint on canvas determine the motif or pattern.
Frize develops series of work often worked through in the studio in their entirety, with a certain technique or process functioning as the point of departure. The parameters of a specific compositional syntax in these groups of paintings are established and explored until the artist considers them to be exhausted, at which point the next group of conditions is revealed. Introducing new works from just two series, this exhibition emphasises the sense of seriality and expanding variations on a theme governed by a common structure.
Investigating the permutations of brush, paint and action, Frize’s vibrantly coloured works of acrylic trace patterns of interconnected and alternating gestures. At times using several brushes concurrently, each loaded with a different hue, a sequence of movements is executed, trailing the paint-filled brushes across a canvas coated with shining layers of resin. These rigorously choreographed brushstrokes result in interlocking, overlapping grids and geometric forms often derived from contemporary mathematical theory. Despite Frize’s austere approach, the rule based process also creates conditions for freedom and chance to manifest in the performance of the materials. Wet, translucent layers of paint bleeding into one another, brush marks and variations in pressure and speed on the painted surface achieve a surprising unpredictability, opening up the exploration of line and colour to new alternatives.
Bernard Frize was born in 1949 in Saint Mandé, France and lives and works between Paris, France and Berlin, Germany. He was recently awarded the Kathe Kollwitz Prize, Berlin, Germany (2015) and The Fred Thieler Prize for Painting, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2011). Frize’s work has been shown extensively internationally and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Akademie der Kunste, Berlin, Germany (2015), Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal (2015), Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2011), Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (2003), Haggs Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands which travelled to Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium (2002), Kunstverein St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland (2000), Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK (1994), Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (1993) which travelled to D.A.A.D. Galerie, Berlin, Germany (1994). Major group exhibitions include Weserburg Museum for Modern Art, Bremen, Germany (2016), Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2016), Fondation Fernet- Brancat, Saint Louis, France (2015), Secession, Vienna, Austria (2012), Tate St Ives, St. Ives, UK which travelled to Mead Gallery, Coventry, UK (2012) and The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2009). His work is in major private and public collections including Tate, London, UK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt-am-Main, Frankfurt, Germany.
In 2019, his work will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.
Press release courtesy Simon Lee Gallery.