CRG Gallery is pleased to present Pia Fries’ fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, a selection of new paintings. In these works, Fries continues her conversation with art historical material by interacting with engravings by the Mannerist Hendrick Goltzius and etchings by the Baroque artist Stefano della Bella. This body of work was produced for Fries’ exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe which ran from December 2010 through March 2011, entitled Krapprhizom Luisenkupfer.
The dynamic use of the line in Goltzius’ The Great Standard-Bearer (1587), which is in the collection of Karlsruhe Department of Prints and Drawings, serves as the inspiration for the Fries’ paintings titled fahnenbild. Fries selects and amplifies this imagery via a process of silkscreen transfer to her wooden panels, illuminating the mannerist’s rendering of rippling folds of the flag carrier by the standard bearer. Fries’ dynamic paint handling engulfs the black and white lines of the silkscreen transfer, creating a discourse between the volume and line; color and black and white.
Investigating similar concerns, Fries extracts and translates portions from Stefano della Bella’s etching Three Galleys in a Storm (1646-1647) for a second series of paintings in the exhibition. The Baroque etching, also in the collection of Karlsruhe Department of Prints and Drawings, depicts three ships at sea tossed about by the tumultuous energy of a storm. Fries utilizes the curves of waves in the 17th century etching for the silkscreen reference in her series titled seewärts. The arcs of colorful paint are employed by Fries in concourse with the lines of the silkscreen while the white of the panel becomes the randmeer or “bordered sea” which both delineates and joins the islands of compostion. The result is a series of dynamic abstractions.
Pia Fries was born in Beromünster, Switzerland and lives and works in Düsseldorf and Berlin, Germany. She studied sculpture at Lucerne University and received her masters from the Academy of the Arts, Düsseldorf.