Talley Dunn Gallery
Pia Fries was born in Beromünster, Switzerland. She first studied painting at the Lucerne University of Applied Science and Arts under Anton Egloff. Later, Fries studied under Gerhard Richter at the Academy of the Arts, Düsseldorf as a master scholar.
Fries’s gestural abstractions incorporate visceral globs of paint, precise washes, and magnified sections of old master etchings in the form of screen prints. Fries allows these elements to float in space, leaving much of her canvas unworked. This allows the eye to explore the various textures and materials, tracing the contours of her gestures. The pristine white ground, and the precise delineation of Fries’s abstract marks give them a sense of palpable volume, as if they were filling a three-dimensional space. Thus, Fries turns modernist abstraction inside out: rather than drawing attention to the surface of the support, or the flatness of an abstract composition, her carefully loaded brushstrokes create the impression of volumetric space, molded and compressed by viscous paint, thin washes, and screen-printed fragments of old-master etchings.