Art: Fairfield Porter: Yankee Against the Grain

A lyrical show highlights the landscape mastery of Fairfield Porter

* A reticent Yankee patrician, the Harvard-educated offspring of a family that once owned much of the farmland on which the Chicago Loop now stands, Fairfield Porter was always a bit of an anomaly in the New York art world. He doesn't fit the standard profile of postwar American painting. People thought -- and to a degree, some now think -- that his work was "soft": civil and private, figurative in a time of heroic abstraction, obsessed with the invocation of natural beauty. But scratch its agreeable surface, and there is flint below, and an unquenchable heat of pictorial intelligence. Or...

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