Structures for removing structures
It has been over 15 years since an exhibition of Bernard Frize's work was held in Paris. That is a long time to wait, but also a period of great creativity, which makes the display “Bernard Frize. Without remorse” at the Pompidou Centre even more enticing.
The painter started to make a name for himself in the 1970s with his ‘all over' process of spreading paint evenly over an entire surface. It was back then that he determined his ambition to throw away the rule book when it came to painting. After his first private showings, he moved to the Villa Medici in Rome in 1984 as artist-in-residence. Over the years, he has integrated figurative elements into his designs and explored photography. He is recognised the world over.
Nowadays, Bernard Frize divides his time between Paris and Berlin. He has become a major player on the international art scene, his work gracing the walls of some of the most prestigious contemporary art museums, including the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna, the Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and La Caixa Foundation in Barcelona. Having had exhibitions all over the world, it was only right that he had one at the Pompidou Centre. It showcases some 70 artworks from his most recent to his oldest creations, going right back to his very beginnings.
Harmony in diversity
How you go around the exhibition is entirely up to you; there is no direction or hierarchy. The canvases are arranged according to the six themes which underlie his approach to artistic production: “With unreason”, “Without effort”, “With system”, “Without system”, “With mastery” and “Without stopping”. Everything is paradoxical, inviting the spectator to witness the very act of artistic creation.
To this preoccupation with structure present in all his innovative work, Bernard Frize interweaves his favourite subjects, such as laziness, the absurd, the random and the artist's place in the world. The painter and photographer relentlessly uses different methods to express himself. Better still, he explores them tirelessly: geometric shapes, simple brush strokes, but also weaving and a whole palette of colours. Visitors are challenged to question what they see, prompted by the artist's profound interrogation as they choose their own route round the presentation.
Figurative or abstract art?
Bernard Frize constantly alternates between figurative and abstract creations. Paradoxes on his favourite themes permeate his entire creative process. You will therefore discover paintings of infinite richness, sometimes confusing, but very alive, and always accompanied by a comment from the artist. Amongst his best-known pieces, you will ponder over the mysterious Article japonais (1985) or the blurred and highly colourful Oma (2007).
The exhibition also presents a lesser known side of the painter: his photography. Nuage sur la côte Atlantique (1988) is one of the Bernard Frize's legendary photos. Against an intense black background, a cloud floats in front of the spectator's eyes, spellbound by the work.
Bernard Frize. Without remorse
From 29 May to 26 August 2019
+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33