Bernard Frize

Bernard Frize portrait


Born in 1954 in Saint-Mandé, France
Lives and works between Paris, France and Berlin, Germany

Bernard Frize’s abstract painting is decisively process-oriented. Working in series, he explores all the possible visual outcomes of precise protocols, which he conceives beforehand. These pre-established conditions and constraints usually pertain to the use of very conventional tools and materials, the almost mechanical execution of seemingly simple gestures, and sometimes the simultaneous assistance of other painters. While they each record the peculiar dynamics of a predetermined technique, his vibrant abstractions are also arenas for chance to operate. By outsourcing some of his creative power to contingency (starting with his highly distinctive yet random color palette), he allows for painterly events or disruptions to unfold on his canvases. At once calculated and random, conceptual and organic, his aesthetics portends an automatic ideal of painting. With much humor, Bernard Frize actually describes his most successful works as the ones that required minimal intervention from him and thus realized themselves to some extent autonomously.