Bernard Frize - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 23, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Seoul, Galerie Perrotin, Bernard Frize: Tongue and Groove, 30 August - 21 October 2017

  • Catalogue Essay

    Viscous brushstrokes of vibrant hues interweave in Leu, leaving no trace as to which mark met the canvas first. Seemingly opaque in its multilayered execution, yet simultaneously delicate with thinly applied paint – this present work is an arresting example of Bernard Frize’s abstract paintings. Working in a variety of materials and employing a multitude of techniques, the French visual contemporary artist is widely lauded for defying traditional notions associated with the medium. Industrial rather than figurative, and calculated rather than spontaneous, Frize’s paintings follow a strict set of choreographed conditions conceived by the artist prior to starting a series. Viewing the role of the creator as simply the developer of systems under which painting is reduced to the mere physical act, the artist’s practice is decidedly process-oriented and unconcerned with reaching a visual conclusion. Governed entirely by the materials themselves, a series is only completed when Frize feels the theory has been exhausted; however, drawing inspiration from Matisse who considered his own work his best inspiration, “a theory often leads [Frize] onto another theory, or another painting” (the artist quoted in Jennifer Sauer, “‘Bernard Frize is Beyond Abstraction”, CR Fashion Book, 22 April 2019, online). As curator Jean-Pierre Criqui noted of Frize’s practice, “The painting, then, is a consequence, a record rather than a goal the artist decided to achieve; it is the image of its own execution” (J. Criqui, ‘Bernard Frize: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris’, Artforum, November 2003, p. 183).

    Though Frize’s oeuvre bears similarities to that of his contemporaries working under movements and styles including Colour Field painting, Minimalism, Fluxus and Conceptual art – it occupies a unique position within the discourse of abstract painting. Ever evolving, Frize began his devoted experimentations with painting in the mid-1970s, at a time when many regarded the medium to be obsolete. Executed in 2015, the present work is thus a prime example of the artist’s mature practice: despite being devoid of conception, it is surprisingly complex with intriguing plays of colour and texture. With gestural motions of the brush making it impossible not to imagine the process happening in real-time, the canvas’s smooth plastic surface offers a curious juxtaposition. In combining synthetic resin with fluid acrylic paint, Frize consequently renders his brush marks flat, a style that has become a trademark of his practice.

    Frize’s sophisticated practice has garnered international acclaim. He has presented solo exhibitions in key galleries and museums throughout his career: in the past two years this has included Galerie Perrotin at their Paris, New York and Tokyo locations (2019), the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2019), Simon Lee Gallery in London (2018), and Girimart Gallery in Istanbul (2018). Today, Frize’s works are also found in numerous public collections, including the Tate Gallery in London, MUMOK in Vienna, Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Kunstmuseums in Basel and Zurich.



signed, titled, numbered and dated '"LEU" 2015 034 Bernard FRIZE' on the overlap
acrylic and resin on canvas
160 x 140 cm. (62 7/8 x 55 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2015.

HK$350,000 - 450,000 

Sold for HK$1,500,000

Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 24 November 2019