Come inside Great Woman Artist Pat Steir's studio
In this video the painter shows us how she made her hit Hirshhorn Museum show, why random is always better than planned and why you should only make art if it's the only thing you can do
A few days ago the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum opened Pat Steir: The Color Wheel, the American painter's largest painting installation to date. Spanning the entire perimeter of the Museum’s second-floor inner-circle galleries, and extending nearly four hundred feet, the installation of new paintings transformed the gallery into a spiraling spectrum of color.
We were lucky enough to visit Steir in her studio as she prepared for the exhibition, to watch her work and to speak with her about her beginnings, her inspiration, and her thoughts on gender in the art world.
To see more, watch the video, which was produced in collaboration with Artspace and with the essential support of Kering, a global luxury group committed to the empowerment of women. The interview coincides with the publication of Great
Women Artists. This new book features 400 artists over the last 500 years. Here's what it has to say about Steir:
"In the 1970s, Steir grappled with representational art, her paintings depicting crossed-out roses and other symbols. The late 1980s heralded a shift in approach, influenced by her individual friendships with the Minimalist artists John Cage, Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin. Embracing Cage’s reliance on chance, LeWitt’s interest in systems and Martin’s insistence on inspiration, Steir began making her signature ‘Waterfall’ paintings.
“Climbing a ladder, throwing paint onto the canvas and then allowing gravity to take its course, her practice superficially resembles that of Jackson Pollock’s, yet Steir’s gestural paintings are not rapidly executed. Profoundly inspired by Taoist philosophy and Asian painting traditions, the dynamic and lyrical qualities of her paintings derive from precise rituals and respect for process as much as from accident and serendipity."
For more on how Pat Steir's story fits into art history, order a copy of Great