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Fairfield Porter

Things as They Are

October 20 - December 3, 2016

Fairfield Porter, Islands, 1968
Fairfield Porter, Under the Elm, c. 1971
Fairfield Porter, Night, 1962
Fairfield Porter, Southampton Backyards, 1954
Fairfield Porter, Flowers in Salt Shaker, 1966
Fairfield Porter, Spruce and Birch, 1964
Fairfield Porter, Twilight, 1975
Fairfield Porter, The Trail, 1974
Fairfield Porter, Untitled (Maine Harbor), c.1950
Fairfield Porter, Claire White, 1960
Fairfield Porter, Trees in Bloom, 1968
Fairfield Porter Katie and Dorothy E., 1957
Fairfield Porter, Tree, 1954 oil on linen 20 1/2 x 15 inches
Fairfield Porter, Still Life of Flowers on a Mirror, 1966
Fairfield Porter, Farmscape, 1966
Fairfield Porter, View From Bear Island, 1968
Fairfield Porter, Portrait of John MacWhinnie, 1972
Fairfield Porter, Cove Bridge, c. 1965
Fairfield Porter, Untitled (View Outside Southampton Studio), 1968
Fairfield Porter, Katie and Jacob in the Yard, c.1953
Fairfield Porter, Portrait of Don Cord, 1967
Fairfield Porter, Elizabeth, c. 1964
Fairfield Porter, The Bedroom, 1949
Fairfield Porter, First of May, 1960

Press Release

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by the American Realist painter Fairfield Porter (1907-1975).  This will be the gallery’s seventeenth exhibition of the artist’s work.  The show coincides with the publication of a new monograph on the artist work. The exhibition concentrates mainly on landscapes from the 1950s through the 1970s of Maine and Southampton in addition to interiors scenes and portraits.

As a painter, Fairfield Porter forged a distinctly American vision out of two disparate styles:  the first—loose representation characterized by intimacy and directness; and the second—gestural abstraction.  Porter’s broad knowledge of art history informed not only his art criticism but his painting as well.  His work is best considered as a lifelong project in which he perpetually sought to define for himself his relation to the world.

Porter was largely a self-taught painter. He was as much influenced by French Intimists such as Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, as by his contemporaries during a time when Abstract Expressionism was at its height. Foremost among his allies were Willem and Elaine de Kooning, artists with whom Porter sustained a dialogue which would prove deeply meaningful in his own work.  Remaining defiantly figurative despite an art scene that swung increasingly toward abstraction, and choosing as his subjects the places and people where he felt most deeply connected, Porter produced a body of work that is significant and consistent in its vision.

More than any other American painter of his generation, Fairfield Porter poignantly defined the look and feel of everyday domestic life.  He endeavored to convey an honest appraisal of what his eye saw expressing it with a beguiling, unpretentious naturalness.  Porter has long been associated with the gallery, as it introduced his work with his first solo exhibition in 1952.