The British artist MARY FEDDEN (August 14, 1915–June 22, 2012) was born in Bristol where she attended the city's Badminton School. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London from 1932 to 1936, and then returned to Bristol where she painted and taught until the beginning of World War II. After the war, Fedden developed her own style of flower paintings and still lifes, reminiscent of artists such as Matisse and Braque.
In 1951, Fedden married the artist Julian Trevelyan (1910-1988). She went on to teach painting at the Royal College of Art from 1956 to 1964, the first woman to teach in the Painting School. Her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones. She mentioned in an interview that the Scottish artist, Anne Redpath (1895–1965) had helped to inspire her style. From 1965 to 1970, she taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England, founded by violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
All forty-two artworks by Mary Fedden selected for this online exhibit combine black and white pigments with an array of brilliant colors. The names of her works often apply to small details in the picture, or include the seemingly small or unimportant "black" or "white" in the title, thus highlighting its presence, as more than merely a background or an outline. Likewise, Fedden's still life and landscape subject matter is simple and unassuming, though bold and decisive, and thus providing a celebration of the enduring clarity and simplicity of everyday life. Compare with Sonia Delaunay's ABSTRACTION & COLOR and NATURAL ABSTRACTION by Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), also DADA with Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943).
(Mary Fedden, 1989)