Pia Ferm

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*1986 Lysekil, Sweden
2011–2014 Dômen artschool, Gothenburg
2012–2013 Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg
2014–2020 Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, class of Tobias Rehberger
  Lives and works in Frankfurt am Main

Grants / Scholarships

2022 Ottilie Roederstein Young Talent Fellowship, Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts  
2020 Travel grant, Hans and Stefan Bernbeck Foundation, Frankfurt am Main  
2019 Sponsorship award, Die Künstlerhilfe Frankfurt e.V., Frankfurt  
2017 Marita Kaus Memorial Prize, working scholarship, Frankfurt am Main.  
Helge Ax:son Jonsson Stiftelse, scholarship.  
Salzburg International Summer Academy Study Grant, Salzburg  
2016 Stiftelsen AAAs fond, Scholarship
2015 Stiftelsen AAAs fond, Scholarship
2014 Stiftelsen AAAs fond, Scholarship
2013 Dômen Konstskolas Utställningsstipendium, Dômen  

Solo exhibitions

2021 bread and butter, Galerie Judith Andreae, Bonn
2019 A good life’s sleep (mit Kristina Lovaas), Kornhäuschen, Aschaffenburg
  good breed, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden
2017 Weight oft he walls, Opelvillen Kunstverein, Rüsselsheim
  Secret liaison (mit Malin Speicher), Im Goldenen, Düsseldorf

Group exhibitions

2022 Elb/Hängung #1, Villa am Elbhang, Hamburg
  Mixed Media, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
  Mit den Füßen sehen – Der Teppich in der (zeitgenössischen) Kunst, Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden – Rot
2020 L‘Esprit, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main
  Time Flies in This Pending Space, 5th Floor, Frankfurt am Main
2019 Lash 23, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden
  A good lifes sleep, Kornhäuschen, Aschaffenburg
  TAKE IT EASY, Galerie Judith Andreae, Bonn
2018 Stone sympasiu, Summeracademy Salzburg, Untersberg
  Pointland, Galerie Conradi, Hamburg
2017 Stone sympasiu, Summeracademy Salzburg, Untersberg
  Die Waltz, Frankfurt
  How to disappear and never be found, Statio, Offenbach
2016 Stone sympasiu, Summeracademy Salzburg, Untersberg
2015 Out of the blue, Well, Well, Well, Wien
  24 Seuns sangga, XiooXio, Seoul
2014 Dômen konstkokas vårustställning, Göteborg
2013 Tre debutanter, Göteborgs Konstförening, Göteborg
  Skanka loss, Gagnef
  Pow-wow-snap!, Galleri Monitor, Göteborg
2012 Art and Publishing, Rotor2, Göteborg
2011 Contemporary printmaking, Rotor2, Göteborg

I often think about how to describe my work in a way that fairly taps into all parts of my practice. And I always come back to the simple word pictures. But images in a very broad sense, where it could also include a three-dimensional sign or pictogram.

I want my objects to balance on the boundary between being and describing themselves. Like hieroglyphics that have left their walls, or a drawing that has become a sculpture - not the subject of the drawing - but the drawing itself, which has become a sculpture.

In terms of my weavings and hand-tufted works, I would explain it this way: despite the fact that they may flirt with a painterly sphere, they are much closer in expression to drawings, collages, or traditional printmaking. And in their finished state, they are more like sculptures: a sculpture made of a drawing and its paper, or an object in which both lines and empty fields are represented by a textile body.

I would also like to point out the slight misuse of the word "image" in relation to my works and the association with painting. An object that contains or shows an image - without being a photograph - does not automatically make it an object that has the claim to be considered a painting. If image equaled painting by default, logic would dictate that a tapestry, drawing, collage, or print could be nothing more than a blueprint for a painting or a mere painting-wannabe object. It falls into its own impossibility, since we know that this is not the case, and in the age of (digital) images, I think we should tune our perception and language to correspond to and reflect the multiplicity in the sense of this word.

This is also the reason why I like the German word Bildhauerin so much. It corresponds very well with, as in the feminine conjunction of what strictly speaking would be translated as "Bildschnitzerin" or "Bildschneiderin." Even though I'm really just digging away material when I work with stone, I feel like I'm doing something that resembles slowly chiseling away and uncovering an image. It's also a physical output for my gaze, an offering to others to share my point of view and engagement and compare it to their own. It doesn't necessarily have to make sense or even be intellectually decipherable, as I think about art as an untranslatable medium where the paradox is that I can still communicate freely: I can understand and I can be understood. The previous step of my work yields the next, and thus I can build a grammar that constrains my practice. Or I can create a framework from which to proceed.

I also like the words old-fashioned connotations that inhibit a time-bound dimension.

Pia Ferm


Pia Ferm | Bread and Butter
Work monography
2021, 128 pages
Hatje Cantz publishing house

Available via Galerie Judith Andreae