In Pia Fries’ gestural abstractions, she uses precise washes, visceral globs of paint, and screen prints of enlarged fragments of old master etchings. Fries leaves a large portion of her painting unfinished by letting these components float in empty space. This enables the eye to trace the outlines of her actions as it investigates the various textures and materials.
They have a sense of substantial volume, as if they were filling a three-dimensional space, thanks to the immaculate white background and the fine delineation of Fries’ abstract patterns. Fries flips modernist abstraction on its head by using viscous paint, thin washes, and screen-printed pieces of old-master etchings to create the illusion of volumetric space, as opposed to focusing emphasis on the support’s surface or the flatness of an abstract composition.