by Robert Sullivan
Locks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by artist Pat Steir. This marks the artist’s sixth solo show with the gallery. The exhibition will open Tuesday, May 14 and will run through June 29th. Concurrently, the artist’s historic installation, Silent Secret Waterfalls: The Barnes Series, can be viewed at the Barnes Foundation through November 2019.
For almost half a century, Steir has experimented with manipulating the ratios of pigment and medium for optimum effect. Her alchemic reactions are typically forged on a monumental scale by throwing, dripping, and pouring pigments across the canvas. The transmutation of material in Steir’s metallic paintings plays out before the viewer’s eyes as veins of glittering substances cascade across the surface.
Here, Steir takes a new direction, presenting an exhibition of paintings that are intimate in their unassuming size—allowing the seventy-nine-year-old artist to carefully control their compositions. Featured prominently in this new work is the reintroduction of intentional brush strokes into a style that, for the past twenty years, has been dominated by chance and natural intervention. Here we see the painter reclaiming the surface through luxurious strokes in the metallic pigments, a welcome accompaniment to the mesmerizing drips and veins that are typical of Steir’s split paintings.
Born in 1938 in Newark, New Jersey, Pat Steir’s work is now thoroughly represented in major museum collections in the United States and in many international institutions. The artist currently lives and works in New York and Amsterdam and has been the focus of numerous solo museum exhibitions and site-specific wall installations. Steir was the recipient of a Guggenheim Artist’s Fellowship (1981), a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant (1973), an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from Pratt Institute (1991) and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston Unviersity (2001). She is a founding board member of Printed Matter bookshop in New York, and the landmark feminist journal, Heresies. Her work is included in major public collections around the world, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, CA; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; The Tate Gallery, London; the walker Art Center, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.