Pia Fries corpus transludi A8, 2017 Acrylfarbe und Siebdruck auf Steinpapier auf Holz, 59,2 x 50 cm, Privatbesitz Schweiz

What Time can do – A Look at Pia Fries

Words By : Katharina Windorfer | Artist: Pia Fries

To Get Some Distance

In his song ‚Older Chests‘ the British singer Damien Rice performs: ‚Like time, there is always time, on my mind. Just pass me by, I will be fine. Just give me time.’ What is time? In Damien Rice’s song we find one possible answer. Time is something that helps us feeling better. How time’s ‘healing process’ works, we see it in the paintings of the German artist Pia Fries.

Pia Fries lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her paintings are currently exhibited in the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf. One thing which unites her painting is her treatment of color. Color is not just color for Pia Fries.

In the painting ‘corpus transludi’ we see a combination of screen printing and painting. A screaming man is shown in a peculiar perspective, it seems as if he is jumping above us. Nearly every muscle of his body is contracted and his face shows anger. Looking more closely at it, he has some animal traces, resembling rather a monster.

However, there is something that keeps him distant from us. Like a protection some translucent layers of color appear between him and us. We still can see him, but the colored veils seem to protect our room from his area. This is also one characteristic of time, too. When times passes, it is as if a veil lays itself down between us and the experiences from the past. However, time can do even more.

Pia Fries
corpus transludi A8, 2017
Acrylfarbe und Siebdruck auf Steinpapier auf Holz, 59,2 x 50 cm, Privatbesitz Schweiz

Changing and Reordering

We find a combination of various media also in the next painting, ‘tisch dover’. Our look is directed upon a table. This time we see something from above. Some books are assembled there. We can skim a few pieces of the titles, one word which is quite prominent is ‘Butterflies’. Just on the right side of this word, the color appearing there resembles a butterfly. Opening its wings and just about to fly.

In contrast to the painting ‘corpus transludi’ color is here not only a layer, it takes on some forms. It seems as if it transforms the books into some new objects. They turn into a piano, into butterflies and then also into anorganic shapes. Thinking of time, here we find another characteristic of it: during time we come to see things differently, events or feelings from the past change. Time is like a gardener who arranges our flowers anew or plants new ones. Thus, we remember things differently, they become butterflies and colored shapes.

Pia Fries
tisch dover 1, 2006
Ölfarbe und Siebdruck auf Holz, 100 x 145 cm, Courtesy the artist

Color and Time

When enough time has passed, we might even forget the previous events or feelings. What matters then is what is in the present, what time brings about. In the painting ‘aquila’ we see a beautiful variation of color and the shapes made with color. Blue waves, yellow plants, they remind us of sculptures rather than of a painting. Color is breaking its limits, being more than a flat material, shaping forms and moving towards us viewers. Time does this, too. During time, we see new things, forms and feelings.

Color’s appearance in Pia Fries paintings is comparable to time. The colored shapes take us away from figuration, such as time does with us and the past. Both reshape forms and create new things. ‘Give me some time’, sings Damien Rice, ‘Give me some color’ say the paintings.