Past exhibition

Paul Feeley: Space Stands Still

12 April–6 June 2021

'One of the most exciting openings this spring' 


'Students of abstract expressionism are in for a treat'

The Art Newspaper 


Waddington Custot is pleased to present Paul Feeley: Space Stands Still, the first solo exhibition of Feeley’s work in the UK for over 50 years. The exhibition shines a light on this significant but relatively overlooked artist who worked with Clement Greenberg and played a pivotal role in the careers of many seminal abstract artists, including Helen Frankenthaler.






This exhibition charts the development of Feeley’s abstraction over the course of his brief but prolific career, presenting pieces from the 1950s through to those created just before his untimely death in 1966 at the age of 55. Works by Feeley, including oil on canvas paintings and three-dimensional sculptures in wood, are shown in the UK for the first time. The works are characterised by Feeley’s distinctive approach to symmetry and pattern through curving shapes in vibrant colours. The central forms and repeated motifs, often in symmetrical clusters, are reminiscent of vertebrae and teeth, molecular structures or jacks.

 Although often associated with Abstract Expressionism, Feeley broke with the movement in the 1940s. Speaking to Lawrence Alloway in 1964, the artist explained ‘I began to dwell on pyramids and things like that instead of on jungles of movement and action... The things I couldn’t forget in art, were things, which made no attempt to be exciting.’ And so Feeley’s work moved away from gestural abstraction and into ‘a quiescent art of stability, poise, and space’, as described by Douglas Dreishpoon in Imperfections by Chance (his 2015 essay on Feeley). This astute observation is echoed by Feeley’s comment that in his paintings ‘space stands still’.

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