The autonomy of color stands at the center of the work of Pia Fries (born 1955 in Beromünster, Switzerland). Over the past twenty years, the internationally renowned artist has taken the process of painting to a new experimental level and developed an independent pictorial form. Color appears – saturated, moist and glossy – in different clustered stages, is applied like impasto dough or thin washes, by flinging lumps of paint or slamming the entire picture plane.
The cross-section of her works shown in this book goes back to two series that the artist did in a direct reference to works in the print room of the Karlsruher Kunsthalle. The poetically enigmatic title Krapprhizom Luisenkupfer refers to the Marchioness Karoline Luise (1723–1783), who not only contributed substantially to the inventory of the Kunsthalle, but also had red coloring made that was extracted from the madder root (Krapp plant). The dense structures and branchings of her paintings is what Fries calls ‘rhizomatic’, i.e., multi-rooted. Since 2000 the artist has integrated silkscreen prints into her works and to this graphic texture applied masses of impasto color.