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Pia Fries

Born in 1955 in Beromünster in the canton of Lucerne, Pia Fries lives and works in Düsseldorf. She attended Lucerne’s Kunstgewerbeschule, specialising in sculpture, before studying under Gerhard Richter at Düsseldorf’s Kunstakademie between 1980 and 1986.

Following a period devoted to figuration, she turned to abstraction in the mid-1980s. Her paintings quickly took the form of “Bildobjekte”, or picture-objects. These are characterised by a sculptural use of the paint paste. In this mass of paint, Fries interprets colour in novel choreographies in order to squeeze out its materiality and all its expressive possibilities. A true construction material, Fries’s paint orchestrates polychromy and formal volumes with great energy.

Since 2000 the artist has been applying different silkscreen motifs beneath the impasto and freely composing between transparency and opaque layers of paint, mimesis and abstraction. Fries creates a language that is both physical and sensual in a frank and direct dialogue between colour and the very substance of the paint, between the viewer and the work of art. For two decades now she has shown in various galleries and museums in Europe and the United States (Kunsthaus Aarau, 1997; Overbeck-Gesellschaft Museum, Lübeck, 2000; Kunstmuseum Winterthur, 2007) and has taken part in important group shows like the 1999 Venice Biennale and a 2005 exhibition at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in New York.