Fairfield Porter

Fairfield Porter, Cove Bridge, c. 1965, Watercolor on paper, 12 x 18 inches
Fairfield Porter, Cove Bridge, c. 1965, Watercolor on paper, 12 x 18 inches

Exhibition

About

Fairfield Porter was taken to Europe as a child and exposed to the paintings of such masters as Titian and Veronese.  He graduated from Harvard in 1928 and from 1928 to 1930 he studied Art History with Bernard Berenson.  He began his art education in earnest at the Art Students League, where he studied with Boardman Robinson and Thomas Hart Benton.  There were two turning points in Porter’s artistic life: in 1936 when he met Willem de Kooning, and in 1938 when he saw an exhibition of Vuillard and Bonnard in Chicago.

Porter combined a soft, pastel palette with a broad brushstroke. Subjects were suburban and without obvious problems, similar to the content of other realists of his time, such as Larry Rivers and Alex Katz.  His work is often described as modernized American impressionist. His exhibitions include The Art Institute of Chicago, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.