Paul Feiler

Horizontal Blue + Sienna

Oil on board: 25.5(h) x 32.8(w) in /

64.8(h) x 83.2(w) cm

Signed, dated and inscribed on the reverse: PAUL FEILER / HORIZONTAL BLUE + SIENNA / 1960/61

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BS 292



Frankfurt 1918 – 2013 Cornwall


Horizontal Blue + Sienna


Signed, dated and inscribed on the reverse:

Oil on board: 25 ½ x 32 ¾ in / 64.8 x 83.2 cm

Frame size: 31 x 38 in / 78.7 x 96.5 cm



Sale Sotheby’s London, 22nd June 1994, lot 174

David Bowie, acquired from the above



Gestural and organic, Paul Feiler’s painterly Horizontal Blue + Sienna, 1960-61, from the collection of David Bowie, uses the abstract vocabulary of the circle and square in a tonal exploration of light inspired by the Cornish landscape, its luxurious surface informed by Abstract Expressionism on a journey towards pure geometric abstraction. The open structures and whiteness of Feiler’s Cornish paintings, including Portheras Grey, 1959-61, Tate and Overlapping Forms Brown, 1964, at The Whitworth, Manchester, was also a result of his early experiences ‘climbing and skiing as a boy in the Alps at Ortisei and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, before his father – as a result of the Nazi take-over – sent him in 1933 to be educated in England.’[1]


Feiler regularly spent time in Cornwall from 1950 and in 1953 bought a Chapel in which he would live until his death. A close friend of Peter Lanyon, the artist taught at the St Ives Summer School in the mid-50s, which Lanyon initiated and became a central figure of the St Ives School of non-figurative landscape painting.



Portheras Grey, 1959-61                            Overlapping Forms Brown, 1964

Oil on canvas: 91.7 x 132.5 cm                Oil on canvas: 45.7 x 61 cm

Tate                                                      The Whitworth, University of Manchester



Frankfurt 1918 – 2013 Cornwall


Paul Feiler was born in Frankfurt and came to England to be educated.  He attended the Slade School of Art, but at the outbreak of war was interned in Canada.  He returned to England in 1941 and taught at Radley and Eastbourne Colleges until the end of the war.  In 1946 he joined the staff of the West of England College of Art at Bristol and became Head of Painting in 1963.  He first visited Cornwall in 1949 and quickly became associated with the other painters living in the area.  In 1968 he received an Arts Council Award.  In 1953 he bought a chapel at Kerris, Paul, near Penzance where he lived with his wife, the painter, Catharine Armitage.  His studio at Paul, which he purchased in 1975, was Stanhope Forbes’s first studio in Cornwall.


[1] John Steer, Paul Feiler paintings and related works on paper, exh cat, Austin Desmond, Spring 1990, p. 3.

Post War BritishPaul Feiler