On Tuesday, November 15th, Texas Gallery opens an exhibition of new paintings by Pat Steir. Well-known for large scale paintings and site-specific installations, Pat Steir has been working in New York since the 60s. This will be her first show of major paintings in Texas since the 1980s. Recognized for the intricate balance between abstraction and landscape in her work, Steir occupies a unique position among American painters. Her gestural technique exploits the natural motion of the medium of paint but the resulting cascade evokes the energy and visceral depiction of falling water. The balance between illusion and formal technique is constant and equal, as if one could actually see two ideas simultaneously and hold them both separately and in combination. The work has grown out of the influence of ancient Chinese painting especially that of lavishly painted screens where the gesture of the artist’s hand is exploited both for it’s skill as a mark itself and for that mark’s ability to evoke images.
This exhibition features seven paintings that are almost entirely black and white in color range as well as one completely white painting. However, upon close examination, the “veils” reveal subtle color shifts in the layers so that at different angles the paintings reflect light that animates the surface and brings to mind light falling on moving water. Quite accurately the titles make reference to waterfalls, but imaginary ones, and also refer to the colors and gestures of each individual painting such as Shadow Waterfall, Moon Mountain Waterfall, and Plummet, while the single large white painting, Ghost Moon, evokes the silvery light of moonlight on water.
Recent exhibitions include a one person show at the Galleria Nationale Moderne Borghese in Rome (2003) and a group show titled “Looking East, Contemporary Painters Engagement with Chinese Art” (with Brice Marden and Michael Mazur) at the Boston University Art Gallery in 2002.
For further information, please contact Nancy Douthey.