Fairfield Porter: Catalogue Raisonne of the Oil Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels

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9781555951658: Fairfield Porter: Catalogue Raisonne of the Oil Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels
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This monumental project documents every known painting by Porter.

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About the Author:

Joan Ludman, a native of Brooklyn, now lives at Westbury, NY. She has published books on the prints of Porter and George Bellows.

From Publishers Weekly:

Best known for sublime pictures with subdued titles such as A Short Walk, Dog on the Steps and Island Farmhouse, East Coast brahmin Porter (1907-1975) has come to be acknowledged as one of the great 20th-century American painters. In his Maine and Long Island landscapes, as well as in his work that includes (however slowed down) human activity, Porter reports accurately on beauty and clutter, tangled branches and syncopated waves, but also sitters at angles to tables and cars askew in parking lot lines. He is unafraid of extreme contrasts, top-heavy and busy compositions, eccentric viewpoints and lighting, miscellaneous blotches and antidramatic subjects, yet his paintings are inevitably recognizable, subtle and affectionate. His gift, like that of the New York School poets with whom he is associated, is to make his subjects just clear enough to keep the pictures from becoming sums of distractions. This book complements Ludman's catalogue raisonn‚ of the prints and follows a year after a substantial biography from Yale University Press. Just over 1,300 works are documented here, prefaced by acute essays by painter Rackstraw Downes and William Agee; there are images and notes from critical reviews for most of the listed titles. Again and again, the notes to the pictures remark that Porter's work was both figural and abstract. This aesthetic dual citizenship is handled in every manner from obtuse to fully registered, a range encapsulated in Charles LeClair's analysis of Jimmy and Leaf Cart, a picture of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Schuyler engaged in lawn work: "Porter paints each object as a flat plane that erases detail.... The figure of Jimmy is reduced to flat colors designed not to make him stand out... but to blend into the scene." Or as Porter, a critic himself, put it, "Love is paying attention." For any lover of painting, this catalogue will be more than an overdue arrival, it will be a roadmap for pilgrimages.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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