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Artists Pat Steir

Pat Steir

American Painter

Pat Steir Photo

Born: April 10, 1940 - Newark, New Jersey, United States

"I'm making something that wasn't there before. I've always liked being an oil painter, attached to the mythology and the magic of making something that relates to history, that has a history, an image of space that is simultaneously flat and deep."

Synopsis

Torrents of thick, white paint cascade over the rich black surfaces of Pat Steir's best-known, monumentally scaled canvases, evoking the sublime forces of the natural world. Although references to the Abstract Expressionist painters, particularly Jackson Pollock, are perhaps unavoidable, the New York-based artist's inspirations are not what one might expect when viewing her technique of drips, washes, and thrown splashes of paint. Instead, it was the impact of her personal relationships with Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, Minimalist Agnes Martin, and avant-garde composer John Cage that would prove most influential. Through these connections, Steir was introduced to ideas of process art, Zen Buddhism, and the techniques of yipin, or Chinese "ink splashing." Her mature painting technique is an amalgamation of these diverse influences, a synthesis of action and non-action, through which she embraces the dichotomy of choice and chance as the basis of her work.

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