DAILY ART FIX: The Contrarian Modernism of Fairfield Porter

Art world links which caught my eye…

Fairfield Porter “Jerry” oil on canvas 62″ x 37″

I used to think of Fairfield Porter as the Preppie painter. His subject matter and biographical outline makes it sound like he was a perfectly proper member of New England gentry. Only after I read his biography did I learn of darker sides of his life and personality.

His realist paintings, created while abstraction was considered the only legitimate form of advanced art,  demonstrate he was his own man.

Fairfield Porter’s turning point as a painter crops up in every account of his life. In the early 1950s, while his close friend Willem de Kooning was painting the Women series, critic Clement Greenberg remarked that, “You can’t paint that way anymore. You can’t paint figuratively today.” Porter reacted with irritation and resolve: “I thought, ‘If that’s what [Greenberg] says, I will do exactly what he says I can’t do.’ I might have become an abstract painter except for that [remark].”

Read the full article here: HYPERALLERGIC – The Contrarian Modernism of Fairfield Porter

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