Gallery Artist
Elisabeth Fréring

One can easily imagine the quiet little girl, in the early sixties, holding the hand of his mother in the acclimatization garden of the Bois de Boulogne (Paris), being thrilled by both fear and pleasure at the sight of Guignol and the wolve fighting each others, in the comforting smell of candy floss, mixed with more acrid odors of the animals in the menagerie nearby.

The richness and significance of the recent work of Elizabeth Fréring is summarized in this “archetypal” picture. Her watercolor and pencil drawings feature a bestiary filled with wolves, fauns in rut, bears, rabbits, deer, forests and trees, rural erotica scenes, girls in skirts and ankle socks, and hybrid individuals.

There are three different threads in her work : First, lies in her work this personal appeal to the nature, a tenuous connection to her childhood when she was walking with her mother in the forest to get out of the mineral environment of the Parisian suburbs. Secondly, attraction for "what is scary and what is forbidden" is rooted in her memories ; the long walks in dark forests, the past games in the dark shelter of the home garden, and the black surrounding her. She regularly visited the waxworks (Musée Grévin in Paris) where she was fascinated by the scene of the "Raft of the Medusa", a tragedy both symbolic and captivating, an allegory of the disaster reproduced in wax, in the dark atmosphere of museum. This black colour is strongly present in her oil paintings and watercolors, this black background of the canvas is a threatening non-color encircling the subject and also the symbol of concealment. This need to confront herself to fear is often illustrated in her paintings and drawings by the staging of bestiality or by the animality of the subject. Sometimes it’s more obvious when she creates semi-human beings, like fauns. In the early 2000s she painted horses with developed muscles, some ithyphallic stalions. Today, this tendency to express vitality and sexuality on the canvas is fully transposed into the drawings of faunas in rut or wolves. And this fear that first turns into confusion to fall then into exhibitionism, gives us the third trend : that of pleasure and desire.

The search for pleasure, this oscillation between pain and well-being, is particuliarly tangible in the opposition between the animals strength and their sweetness or by the use of phallic symbols. The fur is often a part of the painting, it can change in subtle ways in pubic hair, barely suggested by the thin white watercolor contour of the eye of a “mickey-bear” painted on a black background or, in the rose oil-painting of a “woman-rabbit”. This exhibitionism is symbolized by pink color, she uses almost pure. It may also be the raw color of the mucous membranes. The evanescent spots in watercolor that punctuate many of her drawings, reflects the will the artist feels to explore the tales, these short stories swinging between naive and eroticism. Elisabeth Frering confronts herself with mythological representations and mysteries while trying to point the desire and the fear it may generate.

Translation of a text by French Journalist, B. Alain Marie – Artline Magazine

Born 1955 in Argenteuil (Paris) France MA in Art « Artes Aplicadas y Oficios Artisticos » of Valencia (Spain)

Elisabeth Fréring was born 1955 in Argenteuil, France

She lives and works in Basel, Switzerland


Solo shows (Selection)

  • 2015         Dreams, duo show with Fantine Andrès, Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2014         Sucreries Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2013         Fête de l’eau Wattwiller (F) – Library in Cernay (F) et Chapelle crypt of Wattwiller
  • 2011         Docks Art Fair, Lyon, (Fr) International Art Fair solo show with Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2010         Bertrand Gillig Gallery, Strasbourg (France), in duo with Pascale Morin (Sculptor)
  • 2010         Espace G/Gillig Gallery – Strasbourg (France)
  • 2009         Espace G bis Gallery – Strasbourg (France)
  • 2008         Liedtke Gallery – Kehl (Germany)
  • 2008         In Freuai Gallery Freiburg (Germany)
  • 2007         CAg Laren Gallery, Amsterdam, (Netherlands)
  • 2006         Orangerie Medical Clinic – Strasbourg (France)
  • 2005         L’appartement – Strasbourg (France)
  • 2003         Galerie Liedtke – Kehl (Germany)
  • 2002         Pyramide – Strasbourg (France)
  • 2001         City Hall – Strasbourg (France)
  • 2000         Contrast Gallery – Brussels (Belgium)
  • 1999         Art Fonctionnel Gallery – Metz (France)
  • 1998         Contrast Gallery – Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • 1998         Buchelhax Gallery – Silkeborg (Denmark)
  • 1996         Art Fonctionnel Gallery – Metz (France)
  • 1995         Annick North Gallery - Sélestat (France)
  • 1992         Aréa Gallery – Paris (France)
  • 1990         Nicole Buck Gallery - Strasbourg (France)
  • 1986         In der Mittelstadt Gallery - Burkheim (Germany)
  • 1980         Fona Gallery – Valencia (Spain)
  • 1977         Cité Gallery – Valencia (Spain)


Group shows (Selection)

  • 2015         Scope Basel, (Switzerland) International Art Fair with Bertrand Gillig Gallery 
  • 2015         Pas si Love - Edition 2, Galerie Bertrand Gillig
  • 2014         Scope New-York, (USA) International Art Fairwith Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2014         Villa Renata, Basel (Switzerland)
  • 2013         Nature et découvertes, Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2013         Art Copenhagen International Art Fair with Bertrand Gillig Gallery 
  • 2013         Contes d’Hiver, Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2013         Slick Brussels (Belgium), International Art Fair with Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2012         Art-Paris, Grand Palais, International Art Fair with Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2012         Dédoublements, Françoise Besson Gallery, Lyon (France)
  • 2012         Wall Art Fair, International Art Fair Lyon (F) with L’Antichambre Gallery
  • 2012         Le bestiaire, l’Antichambre Gallery, Chambéry Pas si bêtes », Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2011         Papiers s’il vous plaît! Bertrand Gillig Gallery, Strasbourg (France)
  • 2011         Scope Basel (Switzerland), International Art Fair with Bertrand Gillig Gallery
  • 2010         St-Art, International Contemporary Art Fair, Strasbourg, with Bert. Gillig Gallery
  • 2010         St-Art, International Contemporary Art FaIR with Galerie Espace G/Gillig
  • 2010         Slick International Contemporary Art Fair - Paris with Espace G Gallery
  • 2010         Affordable Art Fair Paris (France) with Espace G Gallery
  • 2010         Slick dessin Paris with Espace G Gallery
  • 2007         No Smocking Gallery - Strasbourg (France)
  • 2002         Liedtke Gallery – Kehl (Germany)
  • 1999         St-Art, Intern. Contemporary Art Fair Strasbourg, with Contrast Gallery
  • 1997         St-Art, Intern. Contemporary Art Fair Strasbourg, with Contrast Gallery
  • 1997         Art Copenhagen – Galerie Buchelhax – Silkeborg (Danemark)
  • 1997         Lineart International Contemporary Art Fair, Ghent – Contrast Gallery (Bruxelles)
  • 1995         St-Art, Intern. Contemporary Art Fair Strasbourg, with Nicole Buck Gallery
  • 1994         Seltzer-Lejeune Gallery – Paris (France)
  • 1993         Mémoires et Signes - Nicole Buck Gallery – Strasbourg (France)
  • 1991         Découverte Art Fair - Grand Palais – Paris (France)
  • 1990         Salon de Mai, Grand Palais – Paris (France)
  • 1988         Jeune Peinture, Art Fair - Grand Palais – Paris (France)
  • 1987         Centre Deux Gallery -Hamburg (Germany)
  • 1987         Jeune Peinture » Art Fair, Grand Palais – Paris (France)