Sunday, December 9, 2012

Painter Painting the Painter's Wife

Fairfield Porter "Jane Freilicher and Anne Porter" 1954 
This little gem of a painting is a bit of an art mystery. I first glimpsed it in a stranger's Tumblr account, and later saw it again pinned to another person's Pinterest board. I have searched extensively online, but am still stumped about the painting's actual whereabouts. It rarely appears in searches and when it does appear with provenance it is cited as belonging to the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York. However, multiple searches of that museum's site and even an email to the staff (unanswered) have left me wondering if it is really there at all. If anyone has an answer please let me know! 

Jane Freilicher (born 1924) and Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) were great friends who often painted together.  Freilicher would frequently visit with Porter and his wife Anne at their family home on Long Island. Porter painted her on numerous occasions although this is the only painting I could find that shows her in the act of painting. She and Porter were both strongly influenced by the work of Bonnard and Vuillard and what Porter (an art writer as well as a painter) once wrote of her applies equally to himself, “… when she has to choose between the life of the painting and the rules of construction, she decides to let the rules go." Freilicher and Porter's work is so closely aligned that they exhibited in many of the same galleries and have had many exhibits together, even (as re Porter) posthumously.

Freilicher received her B.A. from Brooklyn College and her M.A. from Columbia University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. She has exhibited widely and is currently represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery in NYC.


Jane said...

Great choice.....two of my favorite painters

Mary Walsh said...

Love this one and I love his work generally.

jeff said...

I have a hefty Porter monograph and I believe this image is in there. I'll look to see who they say has it. I think the Parrish is correct

Emily Brown said...

Yes, it's terrific. Thank you for posting, NB. I'll keep my eyes peeled for it.

ruthsievers said...

Thanks for posting! I have never seen this painting before, tho' I love Porter.