His paintings are imbued with art history and autobiographical references and find their way to our century through reversal, anachronism, and a playful and multidimensional visual narrative. His work is a part of the current trend for figurative art, seen especially in London and in Leipzig. With echoes of the pre-Raphaelite painters, or even Medieval miniatures in the way he handles color and perspective, Philippe Fretz enchants, drawing us into a world which resonates with references and the memory of the western world. His delicate representations of mental pictures, which reference Christian mythology, are a call to spiritual meditation.
Philippe Fretz was born in 1969 and received his degree from Geneva’s Ecole supérieure d’arts visual (graduate school for visual arts), where he worked in Claude Sandoz’s workshop and received the Prix Stravinsky in 1992. He is a three-times recipient of the Kiefer-Hablitzel grant, awarded between 1996 and 1999 while he was living and working in Marseille. He spent two years in the United States painting and teaching at the Waring School in Boston. He received the Alice Bailly grant in 2002 and was awarded a workshop at the Grütli Artist’s Center by the City of Geneva. Since 2000 he has worked with the publisher art&fiction and was president of the Fédération des artistes de Kugler (Kugler artists federation) between 2009 and 2012. In 2014, 2017 and 2020 he received a grant to support the production of the Aargauer Kuratorium. In 2020 he was finalist of the Swiss Art Competition, but the exhibition in Basel was cancelled due to Covid.
Each year, Philippe Fretz teaches a month-long seminar called “Narrative Painting” at Gordon College in Orvieto, Italy. Since 2013, he has produced and distributed a bi-annual artist’s magazine, managed a website dedicated to his work, and a project dedicated to image classification. This research and the magazine, which is called In medias res, is supported by the art-en-jeu foundation.