“It is a rather complex thing to arrange situations in which you do nothing and things happen by themselves.” French artist Bernard Frize’s consciously paradoxical statement relates of course specifically to the activity (or nonactivity) of abstract painting, his rigorous approach to which continues to yield a beauty that is at once distanced and engaged. Through processes that, when they avoid gimmickry, tend toward the artless, Frize achieves results that echo the most outwardly expressive of styles, even as they otherwise approach the condition of machine-made permutations. “Dawn comes up so young” featured entries from two current bodies of work alongside others from an early-1990s series, underscoring the artist’s remarkable consistency; his is a practice that, at its most successful, exists almost outside of time.
To produce the works in the gallery’s first room, Frize dragged
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