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Frédéric Halbreich

Born in: 1962


Translation in progress

Frédéric Halbreich (born Paris August 28th 1962) one of the most powerful and original personalities amongst the painters of our time. In the course of years – he started painting nearly thirty years ago – he gradually developed an individual style that has now searched full maturity. To that end, he had to create himself an entirely self-taught technique, which puts him apart from any of his contemporariers, in order to master the use of the main material which he has used for the last decade: lacquer. Of course, lacquer is a very old traditional material in the craftsmanship of the Far-Eastern countries, Frédéric Halbreich was the first and remains to this day the only painter using lacquer for canvasses of all sizes, and ever a perfunctory glimpse at one of them will show that hise use of lacquer is totally different from its Far-Eastern use nor should his importance he limited to lacquer alone, for during two decades he used more traditional material, a fruitful phase he in no way disowns, the more so that there has been no break in his style and inspiration only the material medium has changed. Halbreich turned to abstraction very early in his career, but form and structures are primordial to him, and nothing could be further removed from chaos or improvisation than his work. Thus his passionate, even violent nature is channelled and sublimated into strictest discipline, with no loss of energy in this process. The aim is hard – won serenity, a struggle for the mastery of pure beauty, his supreme ideal: a flight towards beauty (a flight, not an escape!), as advocated in Plotinus’ Enneals two millenaries ago as a means of unity with the Divine. No time, no space for anecdotal or the picturesque in such a thought process. Halbreich's art aims at greatness through monumental simplicity in order to attain the core of emotion. At the beginning of his career, he went through a strong influence of Poliakoff, to a lesser degree de Staël, and then came the revelation of the Great Americans of the sixties and seventies: Rothko, Clyfford Still, and in particular Franz Kline, one of the closest to his own sensitivity. Hence the path led to him nearest French equivalent, Soulages, a supreme model even today, even though his present manner is totally individual and freed from influences. Before going over to lacquer, he had explored all the facets of Matter, grain, coarseness, rough untreated jute being his favourite material for some years, using both brush and palette knife. But then came the revelation of the lacquer, and the wheel turned half circle. Transparency, luminosity from within the canvas obtained by the subtle superimposition of numerous layers in order to make light vibrate and reflect at once, became his goals. The result is unique. His choice of colours, always sober and restrained, gradually favoured black and white, with occasional contrast of a rich dark red or the warmth of violin varnish like brown. His latest phase (by no means his last, to be sure!) transfixes the dominant black trough flashes of white or the more mysterious opening of softly luminous window towards the beyond. As to his formal structures, frequently relying on purely intuitive proportions like the golden section, they give an overwhelming feeling of monumentality, sometimes enlivened through the dazzling motion of cosmic wind. “All that is dispensable is superfluous “ is one of his favourite mottoes. Abstract painting is the form of visual art closest to music, and music plays a basic part in his inspiration. If composers like Giacinto Scelsi or Morton Feldman show obvious meeting points with his art, his favourite listening, accompanying his creative work, ranges from Cipriano de Rore trough Monteverdi, Schütz, Purcell, Charpentier, Buxtehude and Zelenka (a peculiar love) to Bach and beyond him to Haydn and Mozart: music to be seen, as his paintings are also to be heard!
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  • Painting

  • Painting Abstract

  • Painting Oil

  • Painting Acrylic

  • French Artist

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