Fairfield Porter painted Dog at the Door circa 1970-71, a work inspired while spending the summer on Great Spruce Island on the coast of Maine. Fairfield Porter's finest works display a rich luminosity achieved with masterful handling of paint. Always a great observer of light and color, Porter composed bold canvases that record the quiet domestic life of his family and close friends.
Among Porter's most celebrated canvases are scenes outdoors such as Dog at the Door, where the artist could take advantage of his keen perception of light and atmosphere. With its quintessentially American subject matter, Dog at the Door is a celebration of quiet contemplative summers spent along the northeast coast.
William C. Agee has written, "[Porter's] paintings convey a strong sense of place and presence, but for him the literal transcription of what he saw before him was beside the point. The actual subject was of little concern; rather it was in the paint itself that he found the life, the vitality, and the wholeness of the painting. He understood that the difference between realism and abstraction is not as simple as it seems...Rather than literally describing, Porter determined the relations and connections between things, and for him it was these relations that were the vital elements in a painting." (Fairfield Porter: An American Painter, Southampton, New York, 1993, p.11)
This painting will be included in Joan Ludman's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.