Stephan Fritsch: selected paintings
For exhibition 24 we are showing for the first time selected acrylic paintings of German artist Stephan Fritsch, whose work first came to my attention in a group show of abstract paintings here at Meridian Gallery a year or so ago. Fritsch, who is currently living and working in Salzburg, employs an open, gestural stroke and strident color that seems barely contained by the confines of the canvas. In many of his exhibitions he has explored free-standing panels and painting directly on the wall, as if to underscore this restless aspect of his work. In this sense his paintings remind me of rearing horses. He is at his best, however, when this dynamism is harnessed in the service of what Brice Marden calls, the “Plane Image,” when the conventions and voluntary constraints of the painted canvas serve as a yoke to temper and guide the impact of his composition, drawing and color. That Fritsch holds the reins of this harness quite deftly, without sacrificing speed, is confirmed by the immediacy of the work on display.