New York

Pat Steir

Max Protech Gallery

Pat Steir’s flowers, still lifes, and geometric shapes seem to exist in enchanted worlds. In some compositions Steir paints these images, usually floating against the background, within a square, and then paints a wide “frame” around this central form. Within these outer frames, with busy abstract marks and letters, Steir muses on the contours and gestures evident in the central image. The total effect of these paintings-within-paintings is, not surprisingly, harmonious; Steir is primarily an abstract painter, more interested in how one image relates to another than in the cultural significance of any one image.

In a series of three “Icon” triptychs that follow this painting-within-a-painting format, Steir uses diamond-shaped canvases. The images within the central diamond shapes move progressively from abstraction into recognizable forms. In Icon One Triptych, The Mother, an etched,

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