MARY FEDDEN R.A.(British, B.1915)
Signed & dated ‘Fedden/1970’ (lower left)
Provenance: The estate of the late Miss Rose Adeane
Sheet Height 76.2 cm., 30 in., Length 55.2 cm., 21 3/4 in.
Floated in a 17th century-style frame
Frame Height 91 cm., 3ft., Length 70 cm., 27.50 in.,
MARY FEDDEN (b.1915)
Born in 1915 in Bristol, Mary Fedden studied at the Slade School of Art, London, from 1932 to 1936 and during World War II she painted sets for the Arts Theatre in Great Newport Street, London. At the end of the war Fedden began to develop her own personal style, which owed much in composition and colour to the influence of French modernists, such as Matisse and Braque. However, her continuous evolvement as an artist is displayed by her statement in ‘The Artist’ magazine in 1995, ‘I really float from influence to influence…I found the early Ben Nicholsons fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden’.
Fedden is best known for her distinctive flower painting, bold and intensely coloured still-life compositions, portrayals of characterful animals and her exotic depictions of views and landscapes from the Mediterranean and North Africa.
In 1951 she married the artist Julian Trevelyan and they devoted themselves to art and travel, journeying through Europe, Africa, India, Russia and America. The husband and wife team inspired each other and collaborated on a number of occasions, including a commission in 1980 to paint a mural together for Charing Cross Hospital, London. Fedden’s solo mural commissions include creations for the Television Pavilion at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the P&O Liner Canberra in 1961.
From 1958 to 1964 Fedden was a Painting tutor at the Royal College of Art, where her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones and she became the first female tutor in the Painting school. Subsequently from 1965 to 1970, she taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey.
Fedden has had a solo show in the United Kingdom every year since 1950, including at the Redfern Gallery, London from 1953, the New Grafton Gallery, London from the 1960s, the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Beaux Arts Gallery, London in the 1990s. A major exhibition of her work was also shown at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol in 1996.
Mary Fedden was made a Royal Academician and received an O.B.E. in the 1990s. Her work is held in prestigious Public Collections such as The Tate Gallery, Pallant House, Chichester and the Royal West of England Academy. Fedden’s work bears a unique charm, which contributes to her being one of Britain’s most popular living artists. Now in her nineties Fedden continues to work from the studio in Chiswick that she shared with her husband, who died in 1988.
This post was written by joecollinson