(Man with goldfish and nude) c1950s
Oil on masonite
Signed “Feuerring” lower right
91.7 x 60.7
Inscribed with number “281” on verso
Exhibited: Fish in Australian Art, Australian Maritime Museum 2012
Comment: Feurring had studied at the Art School in Berlin (1916), Florence (1922), and Rome, Paris and Warsaw (1923-1927). In 1926 he gained a diploma with distinction at the Municipal School of Decorative Art, Rome. From 1934- 1939 he taught at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw. He was the leader of the Polish movement, the ‘New Generation’ which reacted against classical and nationalistic concepts in art. On the outbreak of World War II, he was called up as an officer in the Polish army and then imprisoned in a prisoner-of-war camp at Murnau in Upper Bavaria.[i] This period affected him profoundly, for 52 members of his family, including his wife and parents perished in the concentration camps. His life of starvation and hardship in the camp was tempered by art classes which he gave to his fellow officers, with material sent by the Red Cross.
After the war, he taught at the Universitas International, Munich from 1947 – 1950. Feuerring was considered to be a very disciplined and committed painter and teacher, conducting an art school from his studios in Bellevue Hill and Woollahra, Sydney. He held an exhibition at the David Jones Art Gallery soon after his arrival in Australia but had few solo exhibitions after this.
It seems that he had a rather prickly and ‘testy’ personality and local art dealers found him difficult to deal with.[ii] He responded by submitting his paintings to international biennales such as San Paolo. While his paintings can be expressionistic or abstract, they reflect a classical artistic education. His work in Australia is characterized by strong colour and is often loaded with symbolism. An ongoing theme seems to be the search for survival.
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