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b.1907 – 1975
b.1907 – 1975
Fairfield Porter was born in Winnetka, IL. While a student at Harvard, Porter majored in fine arts, and later continued his studies under Thomas Hart Benton and The Art Students' League in New York City, 1928. He was good friends with some major figures of the American modernist movement, both artists (Alfred Stieglitz, John Marin, Willem de Kooning, and Alex Katz) and poets (John Wheelwright, Kenneth Rexroth, Frank O'Hara, and, finally, James Schuyler, who lived with the Porters for over a decade). Porter was a fascinating, talented, but troubled man who lived a politicized, bohemian life, struggled to raise a family of five and triumphed only late in life as a painter and critic. Although the his subject matter would change, he continued to produce realist work for the rest of his career. He would be criticized and revered for continuing his representational style in the midst of the “Abstract Expressionist” movement surrounding him. His subjects were primarily landscapes, domestic interiors and portraits of family, friends and fellow artists, many of them affiliated with the New York School of writers. Many of his paintings were set in or around the family summer house on Great Spruce Head Island, Maine and the family home on South Main Street, Southhampton, New York. His painterly vision which encompassed a fascination with nature and the ability to reveal extraordinariness in ordinary life was heavily indebted to the French painters Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. He was particularly drawn to the color and compositions of Vuillard’s later works.
Porter painting outside his home.
F.P. Sporting the speedo with rover.
Porter in his studio