This week, let’s take a look inside the studio of French artist Bernard Frize. A painter by trade, Frize is known for paintings that explore new and interesting techniques in applying paint to substrate, while focusing on painting more as an industrial process than as a pursuit of an end product or aesthetic.
Frize’s Paris studio looks quite airy in this photo. There’s one large window visible to the left side of the image, but mostly this sense seems to come from the way the artist has organized the space, and the look of the paintings that are both in progress and hanging from the walls. Knowing Frize’s factory-like approach to painting, I do get a somewhat industrial feeling from this space. The evenly-spaced tables, and the organized chaos of the paint bottles in the foreground makes it easy to picture the artist or studio assistants flitting between works in-progress, applying paint and pigment according to a predetermined set of instructions, to produce works according to the artist’s precise specifications.
The aesthetics of the finished paintings in this space make me think a little of the German painter Gerhard Richter, as well. Richter’s use of extremely large brush marks also has a kind of industrious edge to, and I think that the finished paintings have a similar baseline look and feel.
Frize’s paintings are certainly beautiful, and the finished products, devoid of imposed meaning or interpretation, are blank slates onto which the viewer can project their own ideas and opinions. There’s a sense of celebrating pigment and materiality in these works, of the simple joy in making something pleasant to behold.