Balcony Blue and Lemon signed and dated 'FEILER 53' (lower right); further signed 'PAUL FEILER' and titled 'BALCONY BLUE + LEMON' (verso) oil on board 60.5 x 68.5 cm. (23 3/4 x 27 in.)
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, U.K.
1953 was an acutely significant year for Feiler; firstly this was the year he moved to Cornwall, a landscape which has underpinned the bulk of his output ever since. Secondly it was the year of his first solo show at the Redfern Gallery, which received much praise and sold every piece, solidifying his presence amongst the most relevant and exciting practitioners of the day. It was in this year that Feiler painted the enigmatically handled and intensely hued Balcony Blue and Lemon.
Although initially one might respond to Balcony Blue and Lemon as purely abstract we must not overlook how significant a pictorial approach was to Feiler. Up until his move into pure abstraction commencing in the late 1960s, his overarching credence was to 'write down in paint' his studies of the world around him. In the 1940s his translation of these observations came by way of Cézanne whose reduction of pictorial space was considered crucial by Feiler. In the 1950s this approach was radically developed into visual lexicon, which although can be likened to that of De Staël, Lanyon and Heath, is entirely unique to Feiler.
When considering Balcony Blue and Lemon it is vital to touch on the abundance of colour. Two locations are key to informing Feiler's palette; the Atlantic craggy coastline of Cornwall and the snowcapped Bavarian mountains of his youth. These staple charcoals, cobalts, ivories, and almonds are lifted dramatically by more playful touches of greens, browns and yellows, resulting in a kaleidoscopic and warming ambiance. This is further enriched by Feiler's joy in contrasting the impasto textures of the most intricate elements with subdued areas, smoothed back by the palette knife. As a final flourish Feiler cuts back through a layer of paint in the criss-cross motive completing this exquisitely balanced composition.
Balcony Blue and Lemon shows a subject returned to at least twice; for a lithograph the following year, similar in composition and Balcony with Beach also 1954.