tausend : einerlei

16.12.2023 – 17.03.2024

The "miraculous transformation" of caterpillars fascinated the naturalist and artist Maria Sybilla Merian in the 17th century. Pia Fries' work schwarze blumen (black flowers) takes up the theme of metamorphosis.

Pia Fries: tausend : einerlei; Foto: Hans Brändli; Ausstellung KiS 16.12.24-17.03.24

Pia Fries takes an idea as the starting point for her work and embraces the unpredictable. During the artistic process, she decides how colors, shapes and empty spaces will fit together. Time and again, she is inspired by (historical) motifs that correspond to an inner pictorial vision and which she takes as the basis for artistic metamorphoses.

Such as in the sheets from tausend : einerlei, which we are showing at KiS - Kunst in Seefeld. Three illustrated books "Chinese bamboo paper production. A picture album from the 18th century" form the basis for the works created in 2021.

Pia Fries always engages in new encounters during her work phases. In 2005, for example, a copy of Maria Sibylla Merian's "Raupenbuch" (Book of Caterpillars) was the starting point for a series of works entitled "black flowers". The naturalist and artist Merian was fascinated by the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies. Pia Fries took up this metamorphosis.

Ausstellung Pia Fries tausend : einerlei, 16.12.23 - 17.3.24, Halle
Pia Fries tausend : einerlei; Ausstellung KiS - Kunst in Seefeld, 12/23 - 03/24

Too far to write down

Poems by John Yau

I, humble scribe of clouds, ask permission to make my case
While you scatter yellow clouds above open huts
Pull red brushstrokes through curtains of mountains
I watch my poems ferry fiery farewells downstream
Dream that I am in two places at once, listening
To new ghosts complain there is no room
Until the old ghosts leave their vestments for others
Hear wisps of weeping – wind gathering in mulberry trees
Become wrinkled sheet floating on empty bed
Watch smoke of victory and defeat rise into glowing sky
As moon follows its twin into marble sections of the sky
I turn into drops of ink and snow settling on this poem

Taken from From catalogue Pia Fries tausend : einerlei with poems by John Yau; Kienbaum Artists‘ Books, 2022 edition; translation: Stefan and Barbara Weidle; Snoeck;

Ausstellung Pia Fries tausend : einerlei, 16.12.23 - 17.3.24, Halle

The Father and the Art

On the occasion of the vernissage, Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Mennekes SJ gave an introduction to the work of David LaChapelle.

For many years, the art expert founded and directed the St. Peter Art Station in Cologne, a center for contemporary art and music. He has been a visiting professor of contemporary art at numerous universities and since 2021 has been "Consigliere per l'Arte Contemporanea" at the Pontifical Council for Culture. Here are some quotes from his speech:

Friedhelm Mennekes in Seefeld

David LaChapelle is an artist I didn't know like this before Rafael Jablonka asked me to open this exhibition. After dealing with him and this work I have to say: For me he is one of the great, one of the greatest artists of our time.

He was socialized as a Catholic like so many artists, for example Andy Warhol. Later, many, including LaChapelle, turned away from religion. What has remained, however, is the longing to produce images, which is inherent in Catholicism. This is exactly what David LaChapelle does, it seems as if he wanted to create the Bible itself with this cycle.

You can bring a bunch of morals with the Christian thought or just a voice at the right moment that says "you can't do that". This stops the policemen in the picture 'Intervention' from doing what they are doing.

LaChapelle does not make Catholic propaganda, but he shows people who set themselves free. They do it because they can. That's why, for me, these images are among the most grandiose of this genre.

Pia Fries

I want to learn from the picture, let myself be surprised

Pia Fries (born 1955 in Beromünster, CH) began her artistic career in Switzerland in the sculpture class of Anton Egloff. In the 1980s, she went to the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where she became a master student of Gerhard Richter. In the years that followed, she developed her own unmistakable formal language. No two work cycles by Pia Fries are the same. Or as the artist herself says: "I want to learn from the picture and be surprised."

Pia Fries' international reputation is reflected in numerous awards and professorships - until the beginning of 2023 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, for example. As well as in an impressive list of museums and galleries that have dedicated solo exhibitions to her work. These include Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Quadrat Bottrop, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Lindenau-Museum Altenburg, Museum Kurhaus Kleve and Kunstmuseum Winterthur.

In 2023, solo exhibitions were shown at Kunsthaus Baselland, Malkasten Düsseldorf, Miles McEnery Gallery New York and Walter Storms Galerie Munich. And in 2024, Pia Fries will exhibit in Salzburg with Nikolaus Ruzicka, at the Mai 36 Gallery in Zurich and at the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop.

Pia Fries; Foto: Hans Brändli

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