Exhibition 'Quatre Vents' with works by Pia Fries at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

In 2018 a generous gift saw Pia Fries's series "parsen und module" enter the collection at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Dating from 1999 and comprising 30 identically-sized pictures, this emblematic work, accompanied by thirty other recent paintings and drawings, is the nucleus of an exhibition – "Quatre Vents" (Four Winds) – offering an insight into the different facets of the Swiss painter's oeuvre (March 9 to May 20, 2018).

For some years Fries has been taking an interest in the work of Dutch draughtsman, painter and engraver Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), one of the leading engravers of the early Baroque – or Northern Mannerism – period. She has homed in especially on two of his series: The Four Disgracers, which delves into Greek mythology and the falls of Icarus, Tantalus, Ixion and Phaeton; and The Standard Bearers, in which guards are shown carrying flags on a pole. Both of these series of copper engravings stand out for their technical sophistication and the "exuberance" of compositions of which selected fragments have been freely integrated into Fries's own work. Alternating impasto with long streaks of paint, she underscores the sense of movement inherent in the fall of the bodies and the effect of the wind on the generous folds of the flags. Sculptural and vividly coloured, Fries's painterly forms intertwine with Goltzius's fine black and white lines.

Pia Fries, „Fahnenpapier 3“, 2012 / Pia Fries, „Fahnenpapier 11“, 2012, Photo: Hans Brändli, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2018

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