Evening Sand signed and dated '54 FEILER' (lower left); further signed, titled and dated again 'PAUL FEILER/EVENING SAND/20 11 54' (verso) oil on canvas 45.3 x 66 cm. (17 7/8 x 26 in.)
PROVENANCE: Probably sale; Phillips, London, 5 November 1991, lot 170 With Richard Philp, London Private Collection, U.K.
The works Feiler produced between 1950 and 1957 belong to what can be considered Feiler's first mature phase of painting and are arguably his most succinct. Although initially one might respond to these works as abstract we must not overlook how significant an observational approach was to him. Up until a 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.
As a pre-war attendee of the Slade School of Art, Feiler's education was deep routed in the traditional rigours of observational drawing. It was whilst at the Slade he visited a showing of Cezanne's work at the Reid and Lefevre gallery in 1937, which was to have a profound effect on his methodology of interpreting traditional pictorial construction. However, through medium and stance he aligned his work with the preeminent British modernists of the day such as William Scott and Peter Lanyon. He also was in tune with international developments; he hosted a lunch for Mark Rothko in 1958 and worked in painterly techniques very much in line with the progressive continental artists such as Nicolas de Staël. It is the dichotomy of this traditional approach with a modern thinking that is one of the most engaging facets of Feiler's paintings.