Paul Feeley once told an interviewer that his “notion of art has to do with something that has presence but isn’t unduly urgent, doesn’t push itself, but brings you to it rather than projects itself upon you.”
Feeley had a distinguished career in New York City on the fringe of the abstract expressionist movement and as director of the art department at Bennington College before his death in 1966. The quiet power of his words is evident in “Paul Feeley Paintings,” an exhibit of five abstract canvases on view through May 10 at Lawrence Markey Gallery downtown.
These paintings from 1962 and 1963 radiate a symmetrical serenity in their velvety colors, classical forms that speak to the art of ancient Greece and Egypt, and their interlocking patterns that evoke Moorish tile decorations. There is a certain logic to Feeley’s work that is reaffirming.
“I’d say that my fight with abstract expressionism, if you’d
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