I have long admired Fairfield Porter's work for his ability to simplify and for his restrained and harmonious palette. So I was very pleased to find a small collection of his paintings at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, especially since my experience with his work is mostly from books. I rarely see his originals in museums.
Fairfield Porter, 1907-1975, was a realistic painter during the mid-twentieth century when the art world was focused on Abstract Art, Pop Art, and Photo-realism. He was a painter of portraits, domestic scenes, and landscapes that show a relaxed, contemplative sensibility.
I find his subtle color combinations especially beautiful. I also love how he simplified complex images like the one above, while creating a strong sense of light and place.
View in a Haze, 1976, oil on board
Fairfield Porter was also a prolific art critic and a thoughtful writer on the relationship between realism and abstraction. He wrote "The realist thinks he knows ahead of time what reality is, and the abstract artist what art is, but it is in its formality that realist art excels, and the best abstract art communicates an overwhelming sense of reality."