It’s not only how our lives may feel at the moment, but it’s how the artist Pat Steir describes her work. Some of her musings about making art are surprisingly relevant to our pandemic times. The chance in a painting is like a companion, she says.
As I said in my last posting, there are about a billion ways you can spend time in front of a screen right now. (I find myself experiencing a kind of ‘screen fatigue.’) This short video from Pace Prints is worth five minutes of your time. In it, Ms Steir discusses some of her motivation and the processes for making her art. I’m really only interested in the performance of painting and colour. The photography is effective, and a lot of intriguing ideas are packed into a few minutes. She cites John Cage and Agnes Martin as influences. It’s fascinating, and inspiring, to see her combine printmaking and painting in large scale works.
Good news and bad news: There’s a significant exhibition of her paintings, Color Wheel, at the Hirshhorn, a Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. It opened October 24, 2019 and is slated to run until January 18, 2021. It’s wonderful that the work is being featured, but it’s unfortunate that so few people will be able to see it as all the Smithsonian Museums closed on March 14 for public health safety. In the meantime, feel free to browse the Smithsonian Institution’s extensive on-line resources.