Born in Winnetka, Illinois in 1907, Fairfield Porter is considered one of the great post-war modern American artists. His paintings and prints are especially regarded for their lyricism, luminous color and quality of light. In addition to his work as an artist, he was also a well-regarded art critic, publishing reviews in major art journals throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
Porter was greatly influenced by the European Impressionists, but his portraits, landscapes and interiors are also inherently American in their insistence on the concrete and the specific. While he is often called a realist because of his depiction of the people and places he loved and experienced, it was the physical qualities of the medium that came first in his work. He was as concerned with color, light, paint handling, and composition as the Abstract Expressionists. He liked to find distinctions within his compositions, as opposed to painting likenesses or representing exactly what he saw, which came from his “genuine love and respect for diversity and difference.”