October 26, 2016

Fairfield Porter @ Tibor de Nagy Gallery, NYC

Fairfield Porter
Things as They Are

Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York
October 20 - December 3, 2016

Fairfield Porter
First of May, 1960
Oil on canvas, 60 x 71 5/8 inches
Courtesy of the Tibor Nagy Gallery

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery presents 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.