Pat Steir

Baldwin Gallery

One does not typically visit the exhibition of a veteran artist expecting to be surprised by some sweeping stylistic change, although that can happen. Instead, the appeal is in seeing the latest steps in the evolution of a body of work and in discerning how what is being produced relates to all that has come before. Such is the case with work recently on view by Pat Steir. Steir already had a sizable reputation when she began her “Waterfall” paintings in the late ’80s, an ongoing series that has become her most celebrated accomplishment. Nine examples from the past twelve years, all first-rate except for the small, oddly inert Simone’s Snow, 2001, were shown in this airy two-room exhibition.

These paintings evoke the natural phenomena that give the series its name, at the same time that they are, in a certain sense, literally waterfalls or records of waterfalls. In each case, Steir allowed

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