Pia Fries, fender, 2014, oil and silkscreen on wood, 57 x 67 inches, 145 x 170 cm, PF048
The Lindenau Museum in Altenburg, Germany has named Pia Fries the winner of the 2017 Gerhard Altenbourg Art Prize. The Board of Trustees stated that they selected Fries as a "representative of pure painting," noting her unique approach to color, dimensionality, and allusions to Art History. Fries' work, which often include silkscreened historical etchings, are characterized by areas of viscous, colorful paint manipulated by tools, such as spatulas, palette knives and rakes, onto vast white surfaces. The award, totaling €50,000, will be used in part to fund an exhibition of Fries' work at the Lindenau Museum, including a catalog, opening in November 2017.
The Altenbourg Art Prize has been awarded annually since 1998 to honor outstanding living contemporary artists. Past recipients include Carlfriedrich Claus, Cy Twombly, Micha Ullman and Olaf Holzapfel. Fries is the first woman to be awarded the prize.