Garth Greenan Gallery, formerly Gary Snyder Gallery, is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition, Paul Feeley: 1957–1962, an exhibition of paintings, watercolors, and drawings at 529 West 20th Street. Opening on September 5, 2013, the exhibition is the first presentation of Feeley’s work in a New York gallery since 2008. Nine of the artist’s brightly colored abstract paintings will be on view, as well as a selection of related landscape watercolors, none of which has ever before been exhibited. A fully illustrated catalogue—Feeley’s first since 2002—will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by David Anfam.
The exhibition and its accompanying publication provide an overview of the artist’s work from 1957 to 1962—a time of intense formal, as well as technical innovation for Feeley. Although classically derived, Feeley’s paintings from this period are looser, more gestural, and less emblematic than his better-known work from the mid-1960s. In works such as Ios (1957) and Caligula (1959), exaggerated drips and sensuous looping forms cascade across washy grounds. They are frozen gestures, of sorts, uncertain in their abilities to maintain their own gleefully overblown proportions. In later paintings like Untitled (1962), the forms gradually solidify and become more evocative of things in the real world—Mediterranean landscapes and Islamic tile decoration, for example. The actual ebb and flow of the paint stops and the compositions become more settled and architectural. `
Born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1910, Paul Feeley studied painting at Menlo College, Menlo Park, California and the Art Students League. After completing his training, Feeley began teaching, first at Cooper Union (1935–1939) and later at Bennington College. The artist remained at Bennington for 27 years (1939–1966) and founded its celebrated art department. Committed to the art of his peers, Feeley exposed his students—among them, Helen Frankenthaler—to many of the most significant artists of his time. In addition, while at Bennington, he organized the first retrospective exhibitions of Hans Hoffmann, Jackson Pollock, and David Smith.
Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, Feeley had solo exhibitions at many prominent institutions, including: Tibor de Nagy Gallery (1954, 1955, 1958, New York), Betty Parsons Gallery (1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, New York), and Kasmin Gallery (1964, London). During this period, his work was also featured in important museum exhibitions, such as Post Painterly Abstraction (1964, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), The Shaped Canvas (1964, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), The Responsive Eye (1965, Museum of Modern Art), and Systemic Painting (1966, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), among others. In 1968, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum mounted a memorial retrospective exhibition of Feeley’s work. More recently, his paintings have been shown at Lawrence Markey Gallery (1997, 1999, 2002, 2007, 2013, New York and San Antonio) and Matthew Marks Gallery (2002, 2008, New York).
Feeley’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the country, including: the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution; the McNay Art Museum; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Wadsworth Atheneum; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent the Estate of Paul Feeley.