Pia Fries

Born 1955, Beromunster, Switzerland
Lives and works in Düsseldorf and Berlin

The experience of a Pia Fries painting has been described as “visceral rococo.” Her elaborate and studied compositions are quixotic, involving layers of paint on panel surfaces. Between Fries’ voluptuous paint are blank stretches of negative space that have as much bearing on the composition as anything else. Fries’ body of work is powerfully lush and dense. The emotional gestures of Abstract Expressionism are there but have been surpassed by a brilliant control of forms and an audacity of color combinations. Pia Fries studied with Gerhard Richter and they share an interest in the behavior of paint as it is worked across a surface. However, Fries’ work stands apart for its energetic vocabularies of brilliant color and curious forms collaged together in a dramatic whole.