Pia Fries

1955 · Switzerland

Artist biography

Pia Fries is regarded as a well established artist, who originates from Switzerland, like other well-known artists such as Helmut Federle, Julia Steiner, Gianin Conrad, John M Armleder, and Matthias Bosshart. Pia Fries was born in 1955.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Pia Fries' work is available on display in 4 galleries around the globe, such as in Spain and the United States. Galleries include Galería La Caja Negra in Madrid, Christopher Grimes Gallery in Los Angeles, and Crown Point Press in San Francisco. Pia Fries' work has most recently been exhibited at Galerie Anita Beckers in Frankfurt (06 September 2019 until 18 October 2019) with the exhibition SCULPTURAL SURFACES.

Historical Context of Switzerland

Perhaps the most important Swiss contribution to the history of Modernism was the formation of the Dada movement in Zurich in 1916. Its founding members included Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Emmy Hennings, and Marcel Janco. Their headquarters, the Cabaret Voltaire, quickly evolved into an prominent centre of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde, with the political neutrality Switzerland being a haven from political instability elsewhere in Europe. Beforehand, Switzerland had produced some quirky and extraordinary artists in the Post-Impressionist era of the early twentieth century, including Ferdinand Hodler and Felix Vallotton. Another essential movement that can be connected to a Swiss artist was the ‘International Style’ of modernist architecture, pioneered by Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier might have become a French citizen in 1930, but he was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in the Neuchâtel canton of Switzerland in 1887. Indeed, his first independent projects were realized in his hometown of La Chaux-de-Fonds, including proto modern domestic villas for affluent local clients. Key Swiss artists of the twentieth century include Jean Tingely, Alberto Giacometti, John Armleder, Pipilotti Rist and Thomas Hirschhorn.

Further Biographical Context for Pia Fries

Pia Fries was born in 1955, grew up during the 1970s and was inspired by the artistic culture of the time. The art sphere of the 1970s was epitomized by a desire to evolve and reinforce itself, as a response to the many tensions of the previous decade. One of the most central movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which emerged as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art emerged by combining essential features of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The earliest ideas of environmentalism bounced from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its status, predominantly in Germany through the works of world renowned figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the dominant artistic figures of the 1960s remained greatly influential and admired throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for instance, secured his reputation as a legendary artist, by branching out into film and magazine publishing, thus introducing a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such fame. In the eastern part of the globe, Japanese and Korean artists who held a strong interest in the European philosophy of phenomenology, allied with the Mono-Ha movement, exploring and shifting the frontiers between natural and industrial materials. Using stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, they intended to give life to artworks that would accentuate the ephemeral state of these various elements and their surroundings, playing with their interdependency.

Pia Fries

  • Exhibitions 4

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