The Art Newspaper

No. 132, p.9
January, 2003
Christopher Grimes Gallery
Pia Fries

By Sarah Douglas
The Düsseldorf-based Swiss artist Pia Fries makes exuberant abstract paintings that play at being sculptures: the paint is accumulated in vibrantly coloured three- dimensional forms on the canvases, that rise toward the viewer. Rolling, dropping, kneading, dripping, layering: Fries puts oil paint through the wringer in order to compose it into the lush blobs that elegantly grace white panels (above, “Roulle”, 2000). Like her one-time painting instructor Gerhard Richter, Fries seems to be interested in keeping the medium alive, through technical experimentation. And redefinitions of painting have been a hot topic for several years now, expounded through countless group exhibitions and books, such as the recent volume Vitamin P. Painters such as Fries and French painter Bernhard Frize are often pointed to as examples of artists who are constantly pushing the medium of paint. Fries’s work argues for tactility in painting, sensuality, and lushness of colour (until 11 January).