New acquisitions at the Baloise Group Art Collection
The exhibition "Spanraum" at the Baloise Art Forum shows new acquisitions at the Baloise Group Art Collection from 11 June 2009 until 10 October 2009. The exhibition will be open to the public Mondays to Fridays, 8 am to 6 pm. Background information on the artists and work will be available.
Pia Fries initially trained as a sculptor in Lucerne in the late 1970s. At the beginning of the 1980s she continued her studies at the Arts Academy in Düsseldorf, where she took master classes in painting with Gerhard Richter. Since the 1990s, Fries has evolved into a painter-sculptor noted for her very unusual use of paint as a working material. When applying the paint masses to the white surface of the picture, she uses special tools – some of which she has made herself – to knead and disperse, layer and mix the material to form coils and craters, stains and streaks.
The contrast between the areas of thickly applied paint and the dazzling white spaces separating them produces a sort of repoussoir effect that give the painted layer, rising up in full-bodied relief, particular power and sensuousness. The bare white foundation can also be seen as a kind of stage on which the energy-laden splashes of paint perform a highly charged, and at times even erotic, dance. In this "materialist" concept, the coincidental and the unexpected occupy a pivotal role.
Pia Fries, Tisch Hoch 2, 2009
Recently, Pia Fries has introduced trompe l’oeil-type elements into her works, using silk-screens of photos of her own and other people's work as the pictorial ground. In this way she achieves an alienation effect that accentuates the delicate balance in her pictures between reality and illusion, uniqueness and surrogacy, wholeness and fragmentation.
In her WEISSWIRT series (2008), Pia Fries has greatly moderated the dazzling intensity of the colours that characterized her earlier works. In this series, "we now see a subtle and very two-dimensionally developed interplay of silvery-white and yellow-and-lilac paint streaks whose apparent faded-out quality is in reality an attempt to orchestrate its own tools of expression in a new and even more subtle way. And in MASERZUG 1 (2008), the coloured woodpile reproductions are given a swirly rotary motion which charges the picture with unimagined dynamic energy and at the same time brings the white, empty centre so vividly into the forefront that it is as if the painting were trying to show us that everything which appears on its surface could immediately disappear again in the glaring white light of the pictorial ground". (Stephan Berg).
Image: Pia Fries, Tisch Hoch 1, 2009
Phone +41 61 285 74 71
Baloise Art Forum
Aeschengraben 21 - 4002 Basel