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Galerie Nelson-Freeman is pleased to present its fourth one-person exhibition with the Swiss artist Pia Fries. Born in 1955, Pia Fries lives and works in Germany. She was a student of Gerhard Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the 80s, and since 1992 has had eleven museum shows, including an important survey retrospective in 2007 at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (Swizterland). Fries has been the recipient of several prizes, including the 2009 Fred Thieler award for painting (Berlin).
This exhibition will present for the first time the complete series of fourteen diptych paintings made in 2008, works which continue in a new format her pictorial researches inspired by the Dutch painter and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717).
Fries includes in these new paintings facsimiles reproductions of Merian's works torn from modern editions, covered and incorporated into thickly painted surfaces of oil, color and material worked in its relief as a foil to the flat classical space of the Merian paintings. Together, the artist of the 17th century and the one of the 21st join in a real dialogue of color, form, and spacial depiction, a partita for four hands.
For Pia Fries, painting is at the same time subject and the material of construction.
"I am interested in the materialism of things, in the means and in the techniques, in the substance of the paint, in its body, its weight and its physical resistance. "

A catalogue published for the exhibition is available, with new texts by the philosoph Christine Buci-Glucksmann and the curator Camille Morineau:
Pia Fries, Merian’s Surinam, Cologne, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König & Galerie Nelson-Freeman, 2009.