Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fairfield Porter - Island Farmhouse, 1969.

"Porter's intellectual world...was extraordinarily complete. He was a practicing artist with a developed theory of art, and a practicing critic with a developed theory of criticism. In person, he seemed to form concise, measured ideas about everything, and they added up; his intellectual poise made you want to improve your own. He spoke with an authority which did not stem from will, but was that of someone who had made sure of his point of view and could therefore permit you yours. He was absolutely straightforward; he knew what he had to say, and said it. Some found his manners harsh, even rude. He was tall with a windblown complexion, and stood very straight. He entered and left a room without ceremony, and his walk was a stride. His directness in conversation could be uncomfortably challenging; when he was not interested he would be conspicuously silent, or walk away. It was only that what was important for Porter mattered beyond compromise, and time was not to be wasted on the little conventions that make the fabric of easy social life. His friends found his clarity a priceless exchange, and his warmth, expressed in a smile you could call boyish, completely trustworthy."

-Rackstraw Downes, from his introduction to Art In It's Own Terms.