Fairfield Porter’s Red Cables painting, created around 1940, is a prime example of his representational painting style. Porter was known for his paintings of domestic scenes, landscapes, and portraits that depict the relaxed world of the upper-class society he belonged to.
Red Cables is a portrayal of an everyday urban scene in which a set of red cables run along the side of a blue house with two windows. The vivid use of color stands out in this painting and shows Porter’s take on Bonnard and Vuillard’s depiction of everyday life combined with de Kooning’s lush paint handling.
Porter was part of the Second Generation Abstract Expressionists movement that emerged after World War II, but he preferred to stay true to realism in his artworks. He believed that through representational art, he could capture life as it truly exists while also expressing emotions through techniques like color selection and brush stroke variation.
Overall, Red Cables resonates deeply with Porter’s artistic identity as well as being representative of how American art shifted away from pure abstraction toward more observant scenes depicting real-life situations.