Art Basel Miami Beach
Fairfield Porter and Alex Katz were born twenty years apart, but both have been influential figurative painters who are seen as champions of their own strain of American Modernism. Both as a critic and as a painter, Porter was an early supporter of Katz’s and Katz can be seen as taking Porter’s lead on sticking close to home for his subjects, and deeply exploring the subtleties of flat, pure color as a surprisingly expressive device.
Porter can be seen as providing a platform that could both embrace the new developments in painting and its most cherished traditions while celebrating the close- knit group of intellectuals that made up their circle.
Building on this profound influence, Marlborough is pleased exhibit a selection of paintings that draws on the gallery’s long history and deep inventory with Katz along with a group of Porterworks that best illuminate the cross-generational dialogue between these two deeply related artists. Both artist have become well known for deeply personal and psychologically profound portraits of family members and friends.
In 1960, Fairfield Porter wrote about Alex Katz:
In his portraits the likeness does not “stop” the paint. The most ordinary and flattest gray, mixed only from black and white, has the radiance of violet. The green of a real, living plant in the gallery looks less alive than the actually rather abstract green of the foliage in his landscapes.