Fairfield Porter

John T. Spike, Author
John T. Spike, Author ABRAMS $75 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3719-2
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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A figurative realist in the heyday of abstract expressionism, Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) shunned isms and continually broadened his approach, painting himself, his family and friends in New York City, in Southhampton, Long Island, and on an island off the Maine coast. An informative authorized biography and a critique of Porter's work, this lavishly illustrated monograph makes a case for Porter as a major American artist comparable to Pierre Bonnard in his subjective receptivity to people and events, a painter who caught the essence of each moment and never repeated himself. Spike, a specialist in Italian art, gives full consideration to Porter's gritty cityscapes of the 1930s, when he dabbled in radical political causes. From his friend Willem de Kooning, Porter learned to paint quickly and fearlessly, and from Bonnard and Vuillard, he was guided on his artistic course. Porter's airy, light-filled landscapes, interiors, portraits and crystalline ocean views are reproduced here in 280 plates, most of them in color. (Nov.)
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