Felix Anaut

Spanish born artist Felix Anaut (1944) is now based in South West France, but also works from studios in Ireland and Spain. In recent years Anaut has had considerable success and recognition, been embraced warmly by the European Art Scene, exhibiting widely in both public and private sectors, most notably in France, Spain, England, Italy and Ireland as well as many other European countries.

Anaut started his artistic studies with classes at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, finishing studying at the Ecole de Montparnasse d'Art et Dessin in Paris in 1978–79. After Paris he returned to Madrid to continue painting, followed by time spent living in Tangier and Ibiza (1982-83). During this period Anaut developed his interest in abstract painting, largely inspired from arabic calligraphy.

In 1983, after studying a course on the history of porcelain at Christie's in London, Anaut decided to stay in England and continue painting, ending up settling in Belfast, where he cofounded a contemporary art gallery. During the seven year duration of the gallery, Anaut dedicated less time to his personal work, due to his obligations with the gallery, however continued to paint and exhibit sporadically.

In 1989–90 he returned to Spain and to painting full–time. From this period onwards he has been dedicated to the development of his work, returning to a strong investigation of figurative painting. In 2001 Anaut moved his base from Spain to South West France, and in some of his new work reflects back to his past abstract painting and keeping in line also, his powerful figurative work.

In the winter of 2003 Anaut was invited to participate in the Florence Biennale, where he won the award 'Lorenzo el Magnifico of the city of Florence' for his artistic career, in front of some 890 artists from around the world. In 2006, Anaut was listed in the Spanish national newspaper, El Mundo, in their supplement of the '500 most influential Spanish people, 2006', under the Arts section, alongside such names as Tapies.

Some of his more notable exhibitions have included 'Los Artistas', an exhibition where Anaut showed alongside three of his greatest heroes in the history of modern art, Picasso, Miro and Bacon, sponsored by Arttank in Belfast, Ireland, his solo show in the Museum of Isaba, in Navarra, Spain and a Retrospective at the Galerie des Tanneries in Nerac, France.

In 2005 he exhibited work in a new contemporary art museum in Casoria, Naples, Italy. The work exhibited is now part of the permanent collection. He also had a solo show at the Museum Albert Marzelles, Marmande in France, who have purchased work for their permanent collection.

In 2006 Anaut had a huge solo exhibition under the title of 'Bacchanal – Art or Decadence', at the Raymond Farbos Contemporary Art Centre, Mont de Marsan. He also participated in the Belfast Arts Festival, with an exhibition under the title 'No Hay Camino, Se Hace Camino Al Andar' ('There are no paths, one makes a path by walking', Antonio Machado, 1875-1939).

2007 included his participation in the Process – Art Festival in Bulgaria, and various art fairs in France & Spain.

His most recent work concentrates on his interpretation of music, his visual music as he calls it, inspired from the Baroque period. These abstractions have led to recent exhibitions in London, and the most recent, 'The Zaragoza Symphony', a large scale public exhibition in homage to his birth city, and which included a musical symphony inspired from Anaut's work, composed by the Spanish composer Gonzalo Alonso, with an aria (words written by Anaut) sung by the international soprano, Marta Almajano. This was the first of many 'Symphonies' which Anaut is working on for different venues around the world.

Over the last couple of years parallel to his painting, Anaut has also been developing his work with ceramics, painting very large scale one off pieces. For this he collaborates with Ceramicas Abio, in Huesca, Northern Spain.

Works by Anaut are held in the collections of various museums, art institutions and many other public spaces most notably the British Museum, London; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples and Musee Marzelles, France, to name but a few.

He has had numerous public interviews on television and radio about his work and career, and wide press coverage in magazines, newspapers etc, throughout his career.

Also in 2010 a book was published, 'Felix Anaut, his life & work', written by the art collector Michael Simonow, whose art collection is on permanent loan to the Abbaye Flaran in S. W. France. This will add to a series of several books that Simonow has written about artists in his collection. The book covers Anaut's life, and through illustrations gives a wide representation of his work.

Recent projects have included exhibitions in Cape Town, Barnard Gallery,
2011 – Bilbao, BBK Foundation, 2012 – Brussels, At The Factory, 2013 – London, 99 Mount Gallery, 2013 – and participation in the Sianoja Symposium, Noja, Spain, 2012.


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Portrait by Isabelle Souriment