In 301-M-O Feito used a subdued palette of greys that contrast starkly with the dark brown and black, highly textured brushstrokes towards the lower edge of the composition. Having relocated to Paris in 1955, at the time the present work was executed the painter’s oeuvre was already highly regarded internationally; a group of his paintings were shown as part of the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 1960 and that same year art critic and curator Frank O’Hara included his work in the widely acclaimed exhibition New Spanish Painting and Sculpture that opened at the Museum of Modern Art and later toured the United States. His move to Paris, however, did not prevent the artist of maintaining strong ties with the artistic scene in his home country, and in 1957 he was amongst the founding members of the Madrid-based group El Paso. The association was short-lived, as the group dissolved in 1960, but its components (including Manolo Millares, Antonio Saura and Martín Chirino) shared the desire to break with the status of the art world in Spain at the time and a profound interest in the currents that were developing in Paris and New York, especially in Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism. Thus, Feito, along with the rest of the group’s components, quickly assimilated the seemingly unconventional use of dirt and other unorthodox materials mixed with paint, and the gestural markings characteristic of these movements to create their own, individual styles. A further important influence for the Spanish painter was Mark Rothko, with whom he shared a deep interest in form and colour.
With its subtle nuances in colour, and the artist’s skilful use of his brushes and materials to create contrasting surfaces on the picture plane, 301-M-O can be considered an exquisite expression of the artist’s main concerns, an outstanding example of Feito’s output of the 1960s.
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