For the 2017 edition of Frieze New York, Spotlight, Garth Greenan Gallery presents a solo-exhibition of works by Paul Feeley—Paul Feeley: 1964. The three paintings included chart the evolution of the jack and baluster, Feeley’s signature forms, over the course of a year. Their shapes, in various guises and combinations, reappear in these works, giving lively rhythm to symmetrical patterns. Such simple shapes, which at the same time seem both poised and exuberant, are Feeley’s hallmark. Additionally, both the jack and baluster were uniquely suited to the artist’s ongoing interest in seriality and repetition, one shared by many Minimal and Pop artists, but comparatively few of his Color Field “peers.”
The presentation also includes a custom vitrine featuring pages from Feeley’s 1964 calendar. His calendars are extraordinary in that, unlike sketchbooks, they serve both autographic and autobiographic purposes. Always handmade, they often include detailed descriptions of social engagements—dinner with Tony and Jane Smith on the occasion of his first exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, for example—musings, as well as records of studio activity. Most remarkable, however, are the carefully rendered sketches of paintings indicating the dates of their completion.
Frieze New York will be the first time that any of these materials have been displayed publicly.
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.
A full-careeer retrospective of Feeley’s work recently took place at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (2014–2015) and the Columbus Museum of Art (2015–2016), accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Feeley’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the country, including: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent the Estate of Paul Feeley.