"Fairfield Porter spent his painting life striving for a discreet balance between the procedures of painting and the empirical facts of nature. The Impressionism of the 1880s, with its total and radical reliance on the visible and the visual, was what Porter sought to renew and personalize. With the exception of the work of John Marin, who was an early influence and a lifelong enthusiasm, he rejected most American landscape painting and turned instead to the late works of Bonnard and Vuillard to help focus the intimate view of his vision. In the 1950s, Porter finally found a new American art that he could consider both great and capable of regenerating representationalism: his modest matter-of-factness drew new pulse and freedom from the Faustian heroics of the predominantly abstract painting of the New York School. The shimmering overall light and the breathless beauty of Willem de Kooning's strokes added a fresh vibrancy to the influend of Vuillard and provided the catalyst for Porter's mature work. The final consolidation of his maturity came through his participation in a shared community of intentions with a group of younger artists that included Jane Freilicher, Alex Katz, and Larry Rivers.