Suite au Rouleau is a series of eight new paintings. Each was made with a paint roller, such as those used for interior decoration. Layers of paint were applied to the surface, giving the impression of opalescence. The artist arbitrarily assigned different colours to each layer. The layers were applied at different angles, rotating forty-five degrees clockwise for each successive layer so that the succession was discernable.
The rigorous procedure followed by Frize in these paintings was foiled by the spontaneity in his use of the roller and in the wetness and translucency of the paint, resulting in layers bleeding into one another. The painted surface traces the artist’s movement around it, embodying the smallest variation in pressure and speed with which the paint is applied. It records the means to its own end, particularly in the order in which the layers are put down.
The paintings depict themselves with an emphasis on the way they were made. However, rather than leading the viewer into a self-referential dead end, they open up the established practice of painting to new alternatives. Frize brings an extraordinary inventiveness to painting with conventional materials and tools.
Bernard Frize was born in 1954 in Saint Mande, France. His paintings have been exhibited extensively across Europe and the UK, as well as recently in the United States. He is represented by the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris and Miami, Simon Lee in London, and Patrick Painter Inc. in Los Angeles. Frize lives and works in Paris and Berlin.
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Published by Chisenhale, 1994
Paperback, b+w and colour illustrations, pp22
Text by Jonathan Watkins
‘Suite au Rouleau is a series of eight paintings by Bernard Frize. Each was made with a paint-roller, such as would be used for interior decoration. Layer upon wet layer of paint, various colours suspended in PVA, give and overall impression of opalescence. Different colours are assigned, arbitrarily by the artist, to different layers. These are applied at different angles, of forty-five degrees in relation to each other, clockwise, so that the succession of layers is discernible. The last layer is most obvious – being on top of the others – as is its movement through 360 degrees, parallel to each edge and cutting each corner of the paintings’ rectangular format, from the beginning to the end of the series.’
(Jonathan Watkins, ‘Suite au Rouleau’)
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