New York

Pat Steir

Robert Miller Gallery

In Pat Steir’s work of the early ’70s, the conceptual elements commented on the natural ones. When she painted a rose, for example, she would cross it out with a thick “X,” as if to suggest that so timeworn an emblem from nature could no longer satisfy our yearning for expression. The risk for a younger artist exploring the world conceptually is that she may give short shrift to physical or crea—turely existence, and miss the surprise and transcendence that arc possible when our sensations are undifferentiated by the intellect. There are still cerebral aspects to Steir’s work, but the paintings in her re—cent show, “Wind Water Stone,” increastngly reflect attempts to participate in (or reconcile with) nature, rather than to frame, mimic, or use its elements as symbols.

The titles of the paintings lead us to read them as encounters with particular, all very early, hours of the day.

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