In his paintings, Feiler is deeply concerned with establishing a connection between artist and viewer and in doing so, to communicate his ideas through his own visual language. Yet this is not a direct process. Feiler is not concerned with explaining the source of the final painted image; rather he wishes the individual to interpret the painting in his own way and through this, that they may make new, personal connections with the world around. While the form by which Feiler seeks to achieve this has altered over time, as he says, 'there has been no change of heart, no change of vision'.
Thus, while Feiler's early works contrast with his later paintings, especially those from the 1990s onwards, their fundamental aim remains the same. Levant dates from 1962, when the organic, thick passages of paint, cool colours and loose forms had not yet been reduced to the ordered and geometrical, yet equally atmospheric, lines that characterise his later paintings (see lot 84). Both approaches however, remain subtle observations of space, light and tone.
Born in Germany, Feiler came to England in 1933 to receive his education and in 1936 enrolled at the Slade School of Art. He first visited Cornwall in 1949 and in 1953 bought a chapel near Penzance where he has since worked permanently. As Feiler's concern with the architecture of space and the ambiguity of our visual experience developed and simplified over time, he carved his own distinct path. However, the visual language of early paintings like Levant firmly place him in the company of such St Ives members as Wynter, Lanyon, Heron and Scott. Like these artists, the untamed landscape and dramatic coastline of Cornwall was extremely influential: 'The emptiness had a great effect on me and has been with me ever since. It was the visual experience that gave me the sense of reality that is so remote in terms of one's existence.' Feiler designated his early paintings titles which refer to features of the Cornish coast and 'Levant' alludes to an old tin mine dramatically located on the cliffs north-west of Penzance.
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