Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce a two person show of works on paper by Andrew Forge and Fairfield Porter opening on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 541 West 25th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. The show will feature a broad selection of works by each artist, including approximately 16 watercolors by Forge and 12 of Porter’s ink and pencil drawings.
“For me, painting does not illustrate or prove anything; neither ‘realism’ nor ‘abstraction’…” -Fairfield Porter, “Art in its Own Terms”, MFA Publications, 2008, p. 282.
Fairfield Porter joked that he may have become an abstract artist had it not been for a comment Clement Greenberg made that figurative art had become obsolete (referring to Willem de Kooning’s Women). Porter resisted Greenberg’s thinking and spent his career painting and drawing landscapes and portraits. When he worked, Porter focused on the individual shapes which made up his subject as opposed to the finished image he was creating. Similarly in his drawings Porter focuses on edges – those of an island, a corner, a rooftop, or a tree.
Like Porter’s works on paper, Forge’s are reductive and can be read as notations. These later works in this exhibition are composed of dots of color. The dots are carefully placed, one influencing the next. Similar to Porter, Forge’s work depended on a specific view, but unlike Porter, Forge’s images are more about the reflected light and less of the form.
In addition to their distinctive artistic styles, both Forge and Porter are celebrated writers. Forge is known for his writings on Monet, Giacometti, Degas, Manet, and Rauschenberg, among others. Porter is particularly known for his art criticism as well as for his poetry. Among the several books that have been published on Porter’s work and his writings, the gallery has available Art in its Own Terms, Selected Criticism 1935 – 1975 by Fairfield Porter, edited by and with an introduction by Rackstraw Downes, republished by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2008.