The artist Luis Feito (Madrid, 1929) is a pioneer of abstraction in the early Fifties, a time when he is member of the group El Paso and lays the foundations of his work. Following exhibitions held previously by Antonio Saura, Gerardo Rueda, Lucio Muñoz, Rafael Canogar and Antoni Tàpies, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents another extensive and critical tour of Spanish art in the second half of the twentieth century. This major retrospective of Feito gathers ninety-four canvasses and a hundred works on paper in eight chronological blocks, which gives visitors an overview of the contribution by the artist from Madrid.
The layout of the exhibition begins with linear paintings from the years 1952 to 1955, which pave the way for the rise of abstraction in his work. However, the reference to reality here is not completely eliminated. The pieces are proof at these moments of an existing tension that eliminates signs that connect them with the empirical world. During 1956 and 1958, the artist creates quite a few pieces with a strong informalist component that, although they account for his final rupture with the representation of reality, retain a latent geometry throughout.
His work evolves in the late fifties and early sixties with the development of forms similar to galaxies where the presence of circles dominates. Pintura nº 186 and Pintura nº 215 (both from 1960), reflect a direct connection with shapelessness, the original chaos. Organic forms and chromatic contrasts of intense red, yellow and fuchsia to muted colours predominate during this decade, which concludes with an innovation in materials. Feito begins to merge two fabrics as a compositional strategy, as can be seen in Pintura nº 615 (1968) and Pintura nº 715 (1969).
The Seventies was a period of research ending in series of monochrome paintings during the years 1978 and 1979. Feito reduces and redefines his painting parameters, and removes elements from his works. This is the beginning of a crisis, which coincides with his move from Paris (a city where he has lived since 1956) to New York and Montreal, places that allow him to assess, with distance between him, the weight of European tradition and start from zero. In Pintura nº 1329 (1984) and Pintura nº 1402 (1986) Feito uses gold in an exceptional manner. At the same time, he reaffirms a complex relationship between the frame and the inside of his compositions, which generates a bold geometric, very far from the spontaneity of the gesture of his early works. From the radical geometry as an exercise of the problematisation of his painting, the artist progressively incorporates gesture again towards the end of the Nineties, which remains until his last creations.
The series of paintings in this exhibition widely represents his production from the Sixties and includes pieces up until the date of this exhibition. All this is complemented by the vision of works on paper. These one hundred pieces, worked with watercolour, acrylic, oil and Chinese ink on paper reflect the communion of drawing experimentation and his research in painting.
Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca (September 19 - October 20, 2002); Palacio Municipal de Exposiciones. Kiosko Alfonso, A Coruña (November 22, 2002 - January 6, 2003)