'Ted' Faiers was born in England, grew up in Western Canada, and was educated as a middle-aged man at the Art Students League of New York, then taught for thirty-plus years at the Memphis College of Art. All the while he made art – paintings, drawings, woodcuts, and lithographs. He kept almost everything he created, and his family decided to catalog and maintain the scores of paintings and works on paper that remained after his death in the mid-80s.
The Faiers estate is a trove of work spanning four very distinct periods and styles. The works from the 1940s are western landscapes, painted in a regionalist manner, reminiscent of Grant Wood or Thomas Hart Benton. Faiers paintings from the early 50s are primarily studio paintings – still lifes, portraits, and street scenes – with a limited palate and a modernist technique. The rest of the 50s found him under the influence of Will Barnet, and the work is distinctly abstract and an extremely flattened sense of space and shape. Those shapes became very minimal and fluid in the early 60s and shortly thereafter morphed into stylized figures. With the advent of pop art in the later 60s Faiers’ figures gained a cartoonish sensibility, became more pictorial and narrative oriented. Then, in the mid-70s, he began constructing stretcher armatures and attachments: noses and breasts sometimes protruded right off the canvas.
Faiers had a strong exhibition history throughout his life. He sold work – even during the 1950s in Memphis where his art must have been considered very “out there.” He was a talented educator and has legions of former students. But at heart he was a working artist. Looking through his life’s output it is easy to understand that he had an addiction to making art. David Lusk Gallery is proud to continue growing the recognition of the art of Ted Faiers.
NOTE: Biography courtesy of tedfaiers.com