His works of art explore the pure language of geometrics and are characterized by carefully balanced design and meticulous craftsmanship. He often uses just two simple forms, circles and cubes, yet he never seems to exhaust the possibilities for intriguing design.
Porter’s minimalist approach to design favors abstract, non-literal form. Porter begins each sculpture by making a small maquette, or model, from wood, a process that allows him to visualize his ideals and test his designs. He knows his craft well through a lifetime of sculpting and through his career as a Professor of Art at Penn State University where he taught sculpture for 29 years.
Porter grew up in a family of artists. His father, Eliot Porter, was a noted photographer and the brother of painter Fairfield Porter. His mother, Aline Porter, was a painter and came from a family of artists. Porter’s maternal grandmother was a well-known Boston painter and his maternal grandfather an accomplished Boston architect. Raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Porter learned to use woodworking tools in his father’s woodshop early on. There, his father taught him to appreciate fine workmanship. By the age of 10, Porter made his first sculpture from volcanic pumice, and sold it at the Burro Alley Gallery in Santa Fe.