Pineapple, 2007

by Mary Fedden

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 23 inches x 27 inches / 58.42 x 68.58 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 3175 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

In ‘Pineapple, 2007’ Fedden has placed a pineapple, a feather, a shell and two different types of squash together on the canvas, and each item is seen to have its own significance.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the composition, there is a sense of harmony achieved through Fedden’s use of a vivid red background which not only suggests the presence of a table upon which the various objects rest, but it also makes the objects stand out more, due to the contrasting colours. The bright, rich background is void of pattern and provides little distraction to the viewer so that each piece of fruit, vegetable or shell can be examined and appreciated individually and wholly.

Acquired directly from the artist;
Portland gallery;
Private collection, UK

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Mary Fedden left school to study at the highly regarded Slade School of Art at the age of sixteen. After leaving the college she made a living teaching, painting portraits and producing stage designs for Sadlers Wells and the Arts Theatre.

 

At the outbreak of the Second World War Fedden served in the Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service and was commissioned to produce murals for the war effort. In 1944 she was sent abroad as a driver for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.  It was only in 1946 that Fedden returned to easel painting and began to develop her individual style, producing works that combine bold colour with carefully orchestrated compositions. Her works are immediately and wholly appreciable and they all reflect the joy and excitement she had in physically painting them.

 

In the past she sited fellow British artists, Ben Nicholson and Anne Redpath as influences, as well as her husband, Julian Trevelyan, who features in a number of her works. From 1958 until 1964, Fedden taught at the Royal College of Art in London where she was the first female tutor at the Painting School, and her pupils include David Hockney and Allen Jones.

 

As an artist Fedden had a fascination with the particularity of things; by simplifying objects and observing them in their basic elements she installed upon them a new sense of importance.