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Fairfield Porter
(American, 1907-1975)
Sixth Avenue I, n.d.
Lithograph, 3/60, 21 1/8" x 28 3/8”
Gift of Allwyn and Ellen Levine (2000.202)

Fairfield Porter is known for his flat, yet lush painterly style.  This painterly quality carries over into prints such as Sixth Avenue I, a color lithograph in which the ink appears to be loosely and quickly brushed.  The print’s limited palette and simplified forms contribute further to the sketchlike aesthetic, giving Sixth Avenue I the appearance of a notational oil sketch made on the spot. 

Porter was born in Winnetka, Illinois, and studied art on trips to Europe and at the Art Students League of New York.  Through Thomas Hart Benton and Boardman Robinson, Porter learned fresco painting, and during the 1930s, he was active as a mural painter.  Following World War II, the artist attended the Parsons School of Design, where Jacques Maroger introduced Porter to the Maroger Medium, an oil-based paint that he would use for much of his subsequent career.  Porter arrived at his signature style during this time, and as the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, the artist became a leader in the resurgence of Realism.  Porter was perhaps at the height of his career when he died in 1975, aged 68 years.