Hastings Battleaxe visits Paul Feiler at the Jerwood – and pops into the Arts Forum….

The Paul Feiler exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery has been running for a while, but Battleaxe has been a little busy… Then yesterday on my way back from London I met up with Philosopher at the Arts Forum, where he was attending the Private View of an exhibition by one of his Jerwood friends, artist Jennifer Baird.

Paul Feiler, Chrome and Lemon 1956. All photos from the internet.

    So, first, to the Paul Feiler: 100 Years exhibition.  There is at least one of Feiler’s paintings in the Jerwood permanent collection. The one pictured above is frequently on show, and in fact can be seen in the upstairs gallery space now. As ever with abstract art I can’t say why I like it but I do. Is it the colours? Given that, I was interested to see more of his work. Also, even though he was born in Germany, Feiler is known as one of the St Ives school of painters – plenty of Cornish interest for us. He had a long and prolific painting life until his death in 2013, aged 95 – here is his obituary from the Guardian.
   During his long life, he developed his painting style from early figurative work, through the style of abstract shown at the top, to paintings like this. I think you can see the influence of Peter Lanyon in the first one…..

Two paintings of Porthleddon, Cape Cornwall

       I was distracted from my efforts to understand these paintings by the captions. This is typical of many.  This caption, I think, describes one of the paintings above. Why do we need all this?

       Feiler’s later work changed again – became very Rothko-like. According to Philosopher, they are very popular with visitors to the gallery, and I can see why they like them. For me…. not so much. Here is an example. The exhibition is definiotely worth a visit – Battleaxe recommends.

     So, yesterday I had an enjoyable day in London with my old friend Pete, who had come down from Birmingham.  We spent our time sitting in the cafe in Russell Square – it was a beautiful day.
     I got off the train at Warrior Sqaure and went along to the Arts Forum. Jennifer Baird is a vibrant, wonderful woman who spent many years living as a recluse in the rainforests of Tobago – her work reflects this, and also her deep commitment to Tibetan Buddism. The exhibition – ‘The Enchantment Aesthetic’ took her four years to put together, and represents an incredible body of work. It is colourful and uplifting – as vibrant as the artist herself.

Catalogue cover
Jennifer in her studio – from the catalogue

     As well as looking at the paintings I had a pleasant interlude drinking some ferocious Caribbean rum punch and catching up with a few old friends. The exhibition is on until 28 May – again, Battleaxe recommends a visit. Here is the link to Jennifer’s Facebook page.
      To finish up – here’s Russell Square – I said it looked lovely……


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