Der Fremde ging das Gäßchen hinab. Er hörte sie noch sagen: Leben Sie wohl, vergessen Sie mich nicht.
Katherine Porter (born 1941 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa) belongs to a generation of female painters whose influence is increasing recently, to mention some of them: Louise Fishman (born 1939), Suzan Frecon (born 1941), Mary Heilmann (born 1940), Elizabeth Murray (born 1941) and Pat Steir (born 1941). Katherine Porter studied at the Collorado College between 1959-63. There she met her future husband Stephen Porter, a nephew of the painter Fairfield Porter. The marriage ended in 1967 and she moved to Boston where she became one of the central figures in the artistic life of the town. Her first solo shows happened in 1971 and she sold her first painting to the legendary Betty Parsons. 1972 she moved to New Mexico where she lived until 1976. She never stopped settling and resettling in various places and towns till now. Her participation at the Whitney Biennale 1973 marks an early highlight of her career. In 1977 her work was part of “From Woman´s Eyes” exhibition at the Brandeis University.
The increasing visibility of Eva Hesse´s oeuvre and her early death in 1970 opened a new self-reflecting point of view to a lot of other female artists of her generation.
„It was exciting; that´s when Susan Rothenberg, Jake Berthot, Eva Hesse, and Bill Jensen were first shown. The feeling of openness may have contributed to my own explorations.“ The escalation of the Vietnam War, the spreading racial riots in the USA and the rise of feminism were the crucial milestones of Katherine Porter´s political engagement. Finally there is no need to point out how the male protagonists of painting marginalised female artists in the 1970s and 1980s. Nevertheless the 1980s were fruitful years for Katherine Porter: 1985 a retrospective of paintings from 1969-1984 at The Rose Art Museum (Brandeis University, Waltham), 1987 a gallery solo show at Sidney Janis, 1988, 1989 and 1990 at André Emmerich in New York. In this time the hymnal review by Theodore Wolff was published in the Christian Science Monitor with the foresighted title Many of today´s best artists are woman, but recognition lags.
The eminently fresh oeuvre of Katherine Porter awaits for its past due rediscovery.