Jerwood Foundation

Paul Feiler (1918-2013)

Chrome and Lemon, 1956

  • Details

    Copyright The Paul Feiler Estate courtesy of The Redfern Gallery

  • Medium

    oil on board

  • Dimensions

    28 in x 41 in (71 cm x 105.5 cm)

  • Provenance

    Austin Desmond Fine Art, where purchased in August 1993

  • Exhibited

    London, Redfern Gallery, Paul Feiler, Christopher Wood, Raoul Dufy, October 1956, no. 15 (price 100 gns).
    London, Austin Desmond Fine Art, Paul Feiler, Paintings and Related Works on Paper, May 1990, no. 23.

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Paul Feiler: Paintings and Related works on Paper, London, Austin Desmond Fine Art, 1990, illustrated, p. 26.
    M. Sturgis, Jerwood, The Foundation and the Founders, Norwich, 2009, illustrated p. 59.
    Collection Catalogue, Jerwood Collection, London 2012 p.31. Illustrated p.17.

  • On Display

    Room 3, Jerwood Gallery Hastings

This painting depicts an abstract view of the Cornish landscape, where Paul Feiler moved to permanently in 1953. Here, Feiler became a significant part of the St Ives School of artists, who by the 1950s were experimenting with a non-figurative approach to landscape painting.

Chrome and Lemon is one of a number of works from 1956 in which Feiler explored the space-creating potential of coloured verticals suspended in a white space. These paintings originated from drawings made two years earlier on a visit to Gandria in Lago Maggiore, in which the artist depicted distant spaces through a screen of foreground forms.

Feiler’s paintings are careful constructions of space and light which reflect not only the Cornish landscape, but also the artist’s childhood experiences of climbing and skiing in the Bavarian Alps.

In 1957 for the Statements exhibition at the I.C.A. Feiler wrote:

‘I have always enjoyed writing down in paint what I felt the world around me looked like. This has been a limited world: a world of open spaces with snow and ice-covered mountains; later, the sea and the rocks seen from a height. This has led me to try to communicate a universal aspect of forms in space; where the scale of shapes to each other and their tonal relationship convey their physical nearness to the spectator and where the overall colour and its texture supplies the emotional overtones of the personality of ‘Place’’.

Born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Paul Feiler came to England in 1933. He studied at the Slade School, London (1936-39), where fellow students included Patrick Heron, Adrian Heath, Bryan Wynter and Kenneth Armitage. As a German citizen, Feiler was sent to an internment camp on the Isle of Wight and then Canada during the Second World War. He began his career as an artist when he returned to England in 1941. Feiler taught at the Combined Colleges of Eastbourne and Radley (1941-46) and West of England College of Art (1946-75).

In 1949 he visited Cornwall for the first time and this is where he decided to settle permanently four years later. He bought a disused chapel at Kerris, near Paul, with the proceeds of his 1953 sell-out show at Redfern Gallery, London. Feiler remained an active and creative artistic presence in St Ives until his death, aged 95 years. His work has been extensively shown in the UK and internationally and recent exhibitions include a solo show at Tate St Ives in 2005.