Mischief Cats

William Fellini ( -1965)
Oil on canvas
Circa: 1957
Size: 27" (h) x 33" (w) (sight)
William Fellini was a self-taught painter who worked as a house painter and day laborer in New York City. In his spare time, he would often buy used canvases and paint on the clean side (this painting has a half-finished figure by another hand on the other side).

Though little is known about Fellini except for a few anecdotes, he produced a decent body of work from the late 30s-60s.

His paintings often have a quiet surreal quality or an element of surprise or humor to them. He used his marketable skill as a decorative painter and often incorporated faux marble tabletops as a foundation for his inventive still-lifes.

Writing for the New York Times, Vivian Raynor reviewed the Schoelkopf Gallery’s December 1978 exhibit,“Emile Branchard and William Fellini: Two 20th Century American Primitive Painters.” She wrote of Fellini, “His work is remarkable for its range of mood.... Many of the pictures include animals, sometimes to their detriment, as in the stately and minutely-painted flowers that are so upstaged by a demented kitten appearing over the far edge of the table.”

The American Folk Art Museum has two works by Fellini in their collection.

Bibliography: (1) American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century, Johnson & Ketchum. (2) Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists, Hemphill & Weissman.

Condition: Excellent with a very small repaired tear to the upper, middle left.


Price: SOLD