new-york

Pat Steir

Robert Miller Gallery

Pat Steir’s waterfall paintings dance masterfully on the line between figuration and abstraction. Steir has been obsessed with water as figure or trope for some time now, but these new waterfall paintings represent a great leap forward from the series she showed last year. The master is the one who does without doing, and Steir has certainly found a way of putting paint on canvas by adhering to this Taoist discipline. It takes control, however, to really let go, and Steir has given in to the medium so that she can reach the point of feeling the similarity between paint and the water she depicts. Here the viscosity of the paint mimics that of water; both fall in the same way.

The paintings are remarkably luscious considering Steir’s limited palette of blacks and silvery whites with variations of yellowed ivory and muted green. Primary Amsterdam Waterfall (all works 1990) is the least

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