Bernard Frize: Blackout in the Grid

Bernard Frize Simon Lee

An exhibition of paintings by Bernard Frize that brings together paintings from Frize’s most recent series with works made in the decade from 1999 to 2008. As the Centre Pompidou prepares for its first major survey exhibition of the artist’s work, to be held in 2019, the juxtaposition of these works reveals both the consistency of Frize’s project and his constant innovation.

Throughout his career, Frize has revisited and revised his own works from earlier series. The loops and switchbacks of the trajectory of his career seem to echo those interweaving marks which structure many of the paintings themselves. He has spoken of these structures as devices for the removal of compositional decisions. The paintings proceed in series; the series is determined by the rules which govern them. He continues until the variations, and the possibility to produce new results, are exhausted. Frize’s project is, simply stated, one of reducing painting to its most fundamental elements, of using structure and system to govern and regulate the compositional process and thus absolve the artist from the decision making process, so that there is nothing more to the work than its physical, even technological, method of production.

Given this premise, it should come as no surprise that one of the formal devices which reappears in Frize’s work with the greatest regularity is the grid. From the play of horizontal and vertical brushstrokes in Tonka or Rala (both 2017), the simplicity of whose structure underlies a complex weave of anteriority and posteriority, to the herringbone weave of Session, the earliest work in the show (1999), or the branch-like structure of Decalque (2002); whether as armature, as motif or as incidental reference, a grid underlies each of the works in this exhibition.

Duration 17 May 2018 - 30 June 2018
Times Monday - Saturday, 10 - 6pm
Cost Free
Venue Simon Lee Gallery
Address 12 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DT
Contact 020 7491 0100 / /