chapter  5
27 Pages

The Late Forties and Fifties

ByKatherine Hoffman

The late forties and the fifties were a time to begin to rebuild a world disrupted by world war and return to stability. But despite the end of World War II, political conflicts continued to disturb balances of power. An American artist and art critic who never received widespread recognition but who was friends with artists, such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jane Freilicher, and Larry Rivers, and poets, such as John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch, was Fairfield Porter. While Porter depicted a seemingly untroubled existence in family life, photographers, particularly those working for Life and Look magazines, chose to depict images of the American "national character" as friendly, decent, and kind. Fairfield Porter portrayed his family and friends over the years as they changed and grew up, a kind of family album in large-scale painting.