Review of 2/7/53 Hansa Show (by L.C.)
Felix Pasilis, who studied at the American University and with Hofmann, has his first one man show. Almost all his pictures are still-lifes. Over and over again he offers arrangements of a few simple objects – the white coffeepot, the black pitcher, the green cup, the orange and the lemon – and never fails in making new and pleasant discoveries. He catches his still-lifes unawares, and although everything is deliberately arranged, the objects look as if they had been left by a chance relationship with a person. Some of the paintings assume the significance of that person who has departed, and in others, notably Table Top Superintendents, one feels that the objects are people. Pasilis’ use of color raises this debut far above the average. A book is red, and so is the wall and part of the floor: in their relationship to each other, each becomes a part of the other altering the shapes of the other parts. He has left nothing to chance and yet nothing is lost in spontaneity and freshness.
Review of Urban show, 12/4/54 in Art Digest (by S.F.)
Taking a composer’s satisfaction and a painter’s delight in the organizing of forms out of sumptuous color, Felix Pasilis transforms the objects of his still-lifes into pictorial objects living in their own space and substance. His thick, juicy pigment seems swept into place with a direct abandon, but can be seen at a second glance to be related with the authority of intuitive logic. There is discipline in his passion. Hot and cold reds are among Pasilis’ favorite colors – Orchestration is an example – but he also uses yellow ochers, shrill greens and modulated whites with telling effect, and occasionally black, blue and white are dominant, as in Studio Interior. His work in this exhibition shows a gain in color resonance and in emotional, almost mystical overtones.
New York Times 2/4/56
When an artist is as convinced as Felix Pasilis of the real, objective existence of subject matter, his paintings are bound to make at least a strong impression. Pasilis’ latest still-lifes at the Bernard-Ganymede Gallery, 19 East Seventy-sixth Street, are handled forcefully and composed blockily and emphasize the character of the still-life that attracts his attention.
He makes no attempt to turn his crockery and fruit into symbols in the way that Van Gogh turned an old pair of shoes into a symbol of honest toil; he just paints them so that they seem larger than life. They glow with primary color and even manage to take advantage of the crude application of paint. It remains to see how he may refine these statements in the future.
New York Times 3/14/57
Art: New York School
Photo with caption reading: “Still Life With Mexican Platter,” painted by Felix Pasilis
Vivid Exhibition by Younger Painters Marks 10th Anniversary of Museum
An ebullient exhibition of paintings by younger artists of the so-called New York school commemorates the 10th year for the Jewish Museum in its present quarters at Fifth Avenue and Ninety-second Street.
Frankly posed as a summary of possible successors to the fame of artists like deKooning, Kline, Rothko, Gottlieb, Guston, Motherwell and others who “made” the New York school, the show has a lively, if immature personality.
In staging the exhibition Dr. Stephen Kayser, director of the museum, intended to set a precedent for years to come. “I’ll take this show as a motto,” he says. “So far my merit has been not so much the things I’ve shown but the things I’ve kept out of the museum!” The exhibition will be the first in which Dr. Kayser hopes will be a series of important exhibitions geared to fostering the work of contemporary artists.
Although nearly all the painters represented shared a student experience of New York trends in abstract expression, there is marked divergence in their current styles.
There are tender, carefully composed abstract landscapes by Hyde Solomon, a remarkably evocative view of a harbor by Lester Johnson and delicate still lifes by David Sawin — all painters of gentle persuasions. Then, there are high-spirited abstractions, such as those by Robert Rauschenberg, Allan Kaprow and Alfred Leslie that incorporate the verve and immediacy of surface identified particularly with the New York school.
In a show that casts together painters of nearly the same age, individual
differences assume special importance. Some of the work reveals talented
but as yet undefined personalities. Among those painters who have come closer
to autographic styles are Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Felix Pasilis
and Jan Muller. Others showing work of equal interest include Miles Forst,
Milton Resnick, Wolf Kahn, Gandy Brodie, Elaine de Kooning and Robert Goodnough.
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