Press Release

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Swiss artist, Pia Fries, will make her solo USA debut on March 21 at CRG Gallery where she will exhibit new abstract paintings. “How can a painting become a sculpture, transcend its genre? How can paint be more than a vehicle of color, indeed function as a substance per se?” Pia Fries’ paintings provide answers to these questions. The basic white body of her paintings, a heavy, massive wooden framework, acts as a stage for the paint. An unstructured surface that forms a neutral vehicle that can ‘bear’ paint in the truest sense of the word. The paint is truly present – more than present, because it reveals its essence, functioning not merely as a means to fill in forms or symbolize ideas. The paint does not reveal anything that might lie beyond itself. In places breathing a delicate tonality into the ground, in others protruding outwards, squeezing itself mercilessly forward, the paint surface oscillates between fragility and unabashed exhibitionism. But in every case it represents a perceptual quality, the haptic translation of a visual phenomenon. In her inquisitive search for freedom of expression in paint, the artist admits auxiliary means of every kind into her repertoire. Combs, scissors, kneading tools, punches and drills are all enlisted in the service of working the mounds of paint, amplifying their vehemence. This may sound as if the painting process involved brute force, even destructiveness, but the finished work tells a different story. Despite their opulent and prodigal appearance, the paintings seem strangely carefree, sometimes even deceptively offhand. Joyful, witty, monstrous and complex, magnificent, even baroque, they emerge from the white ground into the surrounding space, penetrating into and taking possession of it.” (written by Ulrike Schick, 2001)

Participating Artists:

Pia Fries