Feiler moved to Cornwall in 1953, where he taught at the St Ives Summer School for several years.
Through his close friendship with Peter Lanyon he became associated with the St Ives School painters such
as Terry Frost and Patrick Heron, who were known for developing modern and abstract art in Britain during
the 1940s to 1960s. For a number of years Feiler worked within this movement, however, as he himself
said, “I couldn’t become a ventriloquist and try to become someone else just to be a member of the
scene. Gradually I withdrew from the scene and did my own thing.” The character of Feiler’s work changed
radically in the 1970s, moving to an entirely non-figurative, geometric language, always on square canvas.
The series title Aduton refers to the innermost part of a Greek or Roman temple, which would often hold a
cult image or icon. The works embody the idea of a sacred and devotional space reserved for
contemplation and are pared down to an exploration of colour, perspective and space. Feiler increasingly
incorporated gold and silver leaf into his works from the 1970s, enhancing the spiritual aspect of the work.
Two retrospective exhibitions of Feiler’s work were held at Tate St Ives in 1995 and in 2005. Feiler’s
paintings are held in collections both in the UK and internationally, including the Victoria and Albert
Museum, Tate and Kettle’s Yard.
Jessica Carlisle has said: “I am delighted to be presenting the work of Paul Feiler during Frieze Week
- Feiler is often associated with the St Ives School, yet his work developed far beyond the well-known
gestural landscapes of that group. His particular form of abstraction, pushed and refined to its very limit
over decades of relentless and indefatigable experiment, strikes a very contemporary chord. I am excited
to see this eloquent and timeless work resonate with a new generation.”
The exhibition is presented in association with the Paul Feiler Estate and Redfern Gallery.