Christopher Grimes Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Pia Fries. In this new body of work Fries incorporates isolated fragments of historical etchings by Stefano della Bella (1610-1664), renowned Italian engraver of the Baroque period. Concentrated fragments of della Bella’s stirring etchings of tumultuous seas and skies and capsizing ships serve as the ground upon which Fries applies paint as a viscous mass: firm and fluid, heavy and light. Fries works within the tension of optical vs. physical weight through the interplay of texture, her energetic application of paint and expressive use of color. She integrates the printed and painted parts of the surface while continuing her interest in movement, transitory states and metamorphosis through traces of the hand, the action, and the tools used to facilitate mark making.
Pia Fries lives and works in Dusseldorf and Berlin, Germany. She is an MA student of Gerhard Richter, having attended his painting classes at the Kunstakademie Dusserldorf from 1980 to 1986. Fries has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunstplattform AKKU, Emmenbrücke, Lucerne, Switzerland (2015), Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); and Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2007), among others. Her work has been included in the group exhibitions, Ortswechsel: Works from the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Germany (2016); Drama Queens Die inszenierte Sammlung, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (2016); freshly painted, Brother Klaus Museum, Sachseln (2014); Yes, No, Maybe, Artists Working at Crown Point Press, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2013); The Doubled Image, Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Switzerland (2013); Landscape Confection, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2005); Beau Monde, SITE Santa Fe Biennial curated by Dave Hickey (2001); and Venice Biennale (1999). Fries’ work is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; and Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland, among others.