ARTISTS Bios and Information

Frank Fidler

Frank Fidler (1910 -1995) was an artist who self-taught in oil, pastel, and watercolour and ceramics. He was the son of George Thomas Fidler born in London and began painting fulltime in 1954, when the influence of Abstract Expressionism and action painting was just spreading to Britain; Jackson Pollock had an enduring effect on his painting when they met together.  

In 1957, Fidler took part in his first major exhibition in Moscow, and in the following year he was included in the Paris exhibition “Towards the Future”. In 1959, he had his first solo exhibition at the Drain Gallery in London, followed by regular frequent shows of his work such as Free Painter’s Group (FPG) and at the Ben Uri Gallery.

The Free Painters Group Newsletter in 1963 featured an appraisal of the salient stages of Frank’s work, which included a personal statement as follows “Fundamentally I am fully aware of the incessant struggle for existence in all living things. Not only in man and the other obviously predatory creatures but in vegetable growth too. In fact the coexistent beauty and brutality, the stark inevitability of the growth-decay cycle, in plant life seems somehow to be more terrifying than nature red in tooth and claw. The wonder of this cruel and ever-changing natural life is my fertile soil and the passionate will to paint, like a seed. The work seems to sprout and unfold like a living plant – never really complete. Even when a painting is physically finished the growth seems to continue, providing humus for seeds to come”.

Frank Fidler developed an interest in clay and ceramics which had led to a number of public commissions, including two ceramics murals for St. Albans Civic Centre. He also exhibited Ceramic murals in numerous public buildings in Herts, remarkably St. Albans Town Hall.