Select Works by Roland Flexner
Roland Flexner (born 1944) is a contemporary French artist from Nice, France. He works in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing and sculpture.
An excerpt from “Independent and International”
By Raphael Rubinstein
Another important figure in recent French art, Roland Flexner, is well represented in the Cottrell-Lovett collection. Born in Nice, Flexner has been living in New York for the last 20 years, where he has developed a unique body of work that combines meticulous execution and emotional power. A pair of large canvases from 1987 — Untitled (people with torches) and Untitled (blue room with curving line) — exemplify Flexner’s approach to painting: instantly memorable images; a smooth almost impersonal facture; compositions that stress the contours of the forms; and a certain withholding of meaning. Are these luminous torch wielders a threatening mob or a celebratory crowd? Is this schematic blue room an abstraction veering toward representation or vice versa? The paintings also show Flexner’s penchant for technical experimentation. Untitled (people with torches) is gilded, which means the paint has been laid down over a tin surface, while Untitled (blue room with curving line) uses a gilding technique for the line of the title and oil and wax for the rest of this cool monochrome. The 1993 graphite drawing Untitled (cluster of skulls) belongs to a series of precisely rendered small-scale drawings, many of which utilize similar momento mori imagery. The “bubble drawings” are prime examples of Flexner’s ongoing series of works made with soap and India ink bubbles, which the artist blows and then causes to burst onto sheets of paper. The range of effects in these unconventionally made, incredibly detailed drawings is amazing. They can evoke landscapes, swirling rivers, underground strata, celestial bodies of microscopic life forms. As I observed in an article on Flexner published last year in Art in America, the bubble drawings “offer miniature subtleties of shape and line that no human hand could ever achieve, and a degree of complexity that even computers might find unattainable. There’s not a single pinprick-sized area of the drawings that doesn’t offer something to look at.”
Please visit Roland Flexner’s website for more information: rolandflexner.com