"Painting is transcribing not describing." Philippe Lejeune
I am a french painter born in the city of Marseilles in 1965.
Since my childhood, I have always drawn portraits.
During the late 1990's I worked in several painting workshops in Brussels, Belgium.
Back to France, I focused on sanguine and charcoal drawing, concentrating on portraits.
In a workshop near Paris I approached academic oil painting through the study of the Masters (Raphaël, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Géricault...).
I then fully committed to a personal work.
I suggest reality through figuration and abstraction while drawing on traditionals techniques, thus I can give free rein to my imagination.
I focus on what is most vulnerable and sensitive in my view : the portrait.
The face is not what can be seen but rather what escapes our vision. All these faces full of mysteries captivate me.
In the past few years, I have been looking into animals, their fragility and their strengh. The diversity of animal real facinates me.
I have explored the kudu, the bighorn sheep, the bull and the bobcat.
I am working currently on the history of painting, homage to the masters who continue to pass lessons centuries later. I want to seek a dialogue with the masters offering a contemporary take faithful to my visual language. I use citations and cross-references of masters artworks (Raphaël, Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Sarto...).
I make my characters oversized in order to create a direct face-to-face with the spectator.
The technique is merely a tool that make me free, allowing me to express my vision. I seek to decode the mystery of the portrait, describing and reinventing it in my way.
I manufacture some of my own colors and my linen canvases.
I prepare the different layers with mixed techniques creating a network of topographical lines that punctuate the canvas.
My subjects emerge from a fragmented and connected background that is laid on the canvas.
I don't use portraits to paint but I strive to use oil painting to transcribe the portrait as they appear to me.
Member of the Taylor Foundation and of the Salon d'Automne (Paris), I regularly participate in major French exhibitions (National Society of Fine Arts SNBA, the Salon d'Automne Champs-Elysées, Art Capital French Artists, the French School Salon, Biennial of Salon Violet, Biennial of Versailles...) and international exhibitions (Japan, Israël).
I receive several honors : Bronze medal at "French Artists Exhibition" 2019, Jury Award at "French Artists Exhibition" 2018, Public Award "Chesnay'Art Exhibition" 2017, Russian Embassy Award 2016, First Price Painting Award in many exhibitions...
Several personal exhibitions were also dedicated to me in France.
I regularly perform private commissions.
Represented by several Galleries in France and Spain.
In the press...
Axel Rondouin - Sarto Gallery Paris
" The artist reinvents the portrait with her unique fragmented and geometric composition. Her work flirts with stained glass and mosaic.
The portrait is often disconcerting by the melancholy of its look. Her fragmented game of juxtaposition allows her creations a harmonious marriage between all geometric sections of the represented character.
Emotion and tenderness are the key words in the work of Frédérique Assaël.
Her work is a geometrical, organic and vegetal universe. "
Emmanuel Fèvre, Journalist, Daily newspaper Nouvelles de Versailles :
"The fantastic portraits of Frédérique ASSAËL.
Piercing looks, faces emerging from the mist, Frédérique ASSAËL's paintings act as a flash on the retina.
With almost mathematical compositions, tight framings, nothing pointless appears on the canvas, everything aims at the look...
Connected with comics, the painter's work is very graphic, another sign of her command of proportions.
She sets herself free from technical constraints in order to create her own world.
A world laid on canvas she manufactures herself with undercoats prepared according to the subject.
These preparations owe nothing to chance, they lie at the root of a colorimetric depth recognizable at first sight, making the charm of this atypical painter.
Raw canvas appearances, thicknesses, scrapings, cracks and wrinkles then give rhythm to the composition by creating a palpable tension due to the strength of the look but also to this flirting with abstraction, this haziness, this explosion that surrounds the model and aims at the eyes."
Thierry B, Art Collector :
"In her art, Frédérique Assaël seeks to express our inner nature hidden behind our social facade. The artist explores our secret side with the five senses. The canvas that scraches the skin awakens touch. The esthetics of the ears lead to hearing, the contours of the lips and the nose emphasize the senses of taste and smell. The eyes are two doors that open on the soul of the model. The artist translates the history written in the flesh of the characters.
An interchange between the five senses that aims at discovering the other through his humanity."
Daily newspaper Courrier des Yvelines :
"... The guiding principle consists in these eyes that make her paintings so lively, reflection of a soul that seems to inhabit each painting.
From her Mediterranean origins, Frédérique ASSAËL keeps a fiery and passionate temperament..."
Muriel Degavre, Deputy Maire in charge of cultural affairs, St Nom la Bretèche (France)
"Combining her perfect mastery of ancient techniques with modern compositions and rich palettes subtly worked, Frédérique ASSAËL surprises and questions us. She amazes us for her paintings are such a successful bridge between past and present."
Diane Corson, President Biennale de Fontenay le Fleury (France)
"Strength and fragility confront one another in Frédérique ASSAËL's work in a subtle, almost monochrome palette which signs the overall work of this artist in perpetual search, yet manages to unveil the mysteries of the look which has always fascinated her."