“Silvery Tones”, Friesen’s newest body of work, is a contemporary look at the pre-impressionist painter Camille Corot. The exhibition is accompanied by an essay Souvenir of Corot: Views, Veils, and Silvery Tones written by Dr. Geoffrey Carr. Dr. Carr teaches art, architecture, and film at University of the Fraser Valley, University of British Columbia, and Emily Carr University,
Friesen became interested in Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot while visiting the Frick collection in New York for the first time. The piece that intrigued him was “The Lake”, a large scale landscape Corot painted in 1861. This period of Corot’s work resonates with how Friesen sees painting operating today, the traces of creation with an obvious brushstroke produced at essentially a human scale.
Friesen writes “I see this work as being produced in a transitional period where there are obvious impressionistic devices, such as vibrant flecks of paint applied to a style still rooted in the safety of tradition. The pictorial devices Corot uses allows abstract licks of paint to exist in a structured environment that push and pull our notions of what painting is and what painting has the potential to do. ‘Silvery Tones’ is an investigation into how we understand that process in a contemporary way.”
Christopher Friesen is a painter and educator living in Langley, British Columbia. His teaching focuses on painting, drawing and different modes of cultural discourse ranging from specific formal painting concerns to community engagement through mural projects. Friesen is an Associate Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley in the Visual Arts Department. He has been on juries for public art proposals to the City of Abbotsford as well as a juror and committee member of the Fraser Valley Regional Biennale 2011, 2013 and 2015. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) from the University of Lethbridge and his Masters Degree in Fine Art (MFA) from the University of Regina.