Biography of Pia Fries
The Swiss-born painter Pia Fries is renowned for her vibrant and dense use of color. Luscious and glossy, her works are as much about adding paint and color as extracting it. Although originally trained as a sculptor Fries was more at home working with a flat surface, preferring to use a hard wooden backing often primed with more than five layers of paint.
Born in 1955, Fries studied sculpture in Lucerne before studying painting under Gerhard Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1986. This varied education has enabled her to bring her own methods to her painting process, using palette knives to found industrial objects and even syringes to apply the paint. Her dense, lustrous, and cacophonous masses contrast with areas that are more thin and measured. This juxtaposition between the dense textured areas and the negative space designated by the white or unfinished areas provides a dramatic contrast.
Pia Fries mainly divides her time between Düsseldorf and Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland in 2007, the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe in Germany in 2011 and the Kunstplattform AKKU in Emmenbrücke in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2015. She has been included in significant group exhibitions at the Venice Biennale in 1999, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2013, and more recently at the Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany in 2016.