Frize chooses colour and painting itself as the subjects of his paintings. What is more he leaves so-called external decisions, such as the choice of the colour, the brush and the size of the canvas, to the painting itself.
From historical perspective, ‘painting’ is a way to represent a view or an image of reality. Trough the ages artists have searched for ways to render reality as true as possible using perspective, shading, a balanced composition. But that is not how Bernard Frize proceeds. Frize chooses colour and painting itself as the subjects of his paintings. What is more he leaves so-called external decisions, such as the choice of the colour, the brush and the size of the canvas, to the painting itself.
Frize wants to eradicate every personal decision. He does not believe in personal expression, communicating a message or political statement. When Frize pours paint onto the canvas, he has not reflected in advance about the result. For Frize, painting is not a 'medium' to express feelings or depict fragments of reality. He wants the medium itself to speak, to purify painting, to peel painting until only its bare essence is left: paint, tools, the technique of applying paint on the canvas. Simple methods determine the motif or pattern. The painting paints itself.
Frize’s sole contribution regards the structure of the work or the way he daubs the canvas with paint, using simple brushstrokes. There is merely the direct application of colour on the canvas. The surface of the painting is like an 'arena of actions'. By applying a glossy layer of resin on the canvas, the materiality of the brushstroke vanishes, which causes the paintings to become even more detached.
Yet, Frize’s paintings are not empty. Frize expects the public to look at the paintings actively. He requires the public to think along with the artist, to attempt to discover the structure of the pictorial plane, which engages in direct confrontation with the paintings. These are aesthetically appealing, while at the same time they teach us something about the idiosyncrasies of the medium.
Opening may 18, 2011
Galerie Micheline Szwajcer
Verlatstraat 14, Antwerp
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 - 18:30
Saturday: 12:00 - 18:30
Closed on Sunday and Monday