Bernard Frize b. 1941
N. 76 2005
acrylic and resin on canvas
via wrightauctions.

"Frize's art is about painting itself, i.e. not about painting as a medium to express feelings or depict fragments of reality. Throughout Frize's oeuvre, we notice how the artist studies the genesis of the various aspects of the painting.

Already in the 1950s the American critic Clement Greenberg stated that the artist should attempt to find the inherent qualities of each medium. In painting this was supposed to be 'flatness': the flat character of the support, of the canvas. In the monumental paintings of the abstract expressionists this aspiration culminated into a climax, according to Greenberg. Yet the works of painters like Pollock, Rothko or Newman are not merely about applying colour to the flat support. In their work, these artists want to convey a certain feeling, they try to create some sort of impression: In short: they want to achieve some goal Unlike them, Frize wants to eradicate every personal decision.

When Frize pours paint onto the canvas, he has not reflected in advance about the result. Unlike the abstract expressionists, too, he does not choose deliberate combinations of colours and he declines to use meticulous 'drippings' or a handwriting based on a calculated abstraction. For every series of paintings, Frize uses a different technique. For Frize, painting is not a 'medium' to express something. The painting paints itself."

from esssay by Eva Wilcox.