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Bernard Frize is a French artist born in 1954 in Saint-Mandé in the Val de Marne (France). He lives and works between Paris and Berlin. However, he remains rather discreet about his life before the beginning of his career as a painter.
So Bernard Frize began to be known in 1977 with the so called series Saint 77. His position upsets the news codes of painting. Frize’s paintings are covered with a weaving of horizontal and vertical lines of bright colors. His paintings technic are called “All over” (which means covering the whole canvas) through which he asserts very early a will to question the codes of the new painting.
From 1984 to 1986 FRIZE obtained a grant to stay and work at the Villa Medici. He was awarded the Käthe kollwitz prize in 2015. This award recognizes global visual artists, whether they are known or not or on the fringe of the general public.
Bernard Frize paints semi-random colorful forms. He has longer wondered about the practice of painting nowadays, as well as the role of the artist was.
His problematic is based on chance. For Frize, the painter is not the creator of his canvas, but on the contrary, someone who mechanically executes his work, as a worker in a factory would. The chance has an important role to play in his work.
Paradoxically, Frize’s paintings are also the result of established and academic rules as taught in beaux-art schools.
The Georges Pompidou Center has dedicated a retrospective exhibition to him entitled “sans repentir” (“unrepentant” in english) which highlights this duality of concept in 2019. Previously, in 2003, he had already presented a summary of the first ten years of his work at the Musée d’Arts Modernes de la Ville de Paris. The exhibition was called “aplat”.