Pat Steir, Green, Orange and Mica, 2013, oil on canvas, 11 x 11'.

Pat Steir

Cheim & Read

Pat Steir, Green, Orange and Mica, 2013, oil on canvas, 11 x 11'.

Since 1989, Pat Steir has been working in more or less the same manner—splashing her paint and turpentine on the top of her canvases and letting it find its own way back home to earth. “I . . . use nature to paint a picture of itself by pouring the paint,” she has said, the echo of Jackson Pollock’s “I am nature” in the vicinity of the act of pouring undoubtedly no accident. I never much cared for the results, though. Either the colors seemed too blatant, or the space too shallow, or whatever—until now, twenty-five years later, when suddenly artistic process and the phenomenology of looking seem perfectly synced. Persistence counts. Steir’s new paintings are magnificent.

Six of the seven paintings that were shown here are square, eleven by eleven feet, and divided into two equal vertical bands. The square’s tendency toward equilibrium is thus counterpointed by a distinct

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