The spare elegance of the realist Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) never gets old. A monograph on the artist and his work, recently published by Rizzoli, provides an intense exploration of the intriguing and complex life of this important painter. The book, written by Karen Wilkins and John Wilmerding includes an evocative poem by J.D. McClatchy.
A mostly self-taught painter, Fairfield Porter forged a distinctly American vision from two disparate artistic styles: the first, a style of loose representation characterized by both intimacy and directness; and the second by his unique style of gestural abstraction. Porter’s broad knowledge of art history informed not only his erudite art criticism but his styles of painting as well. His work is best regarded as a lifelong project in which he constantly sought to describe, define and distill his complex relation to the world.