Pat Steir, the artist behind gigantic abstractions composed of beautiful flows of paint, has officially joined Hauser & Wirth, one of the largest galleries in the world. Her first show with Hauser & Wirth will take place in New York in November.
The representation, rumored to be first reported in Artnet newsLast month’s “Wet Paint” section will be global, meaning Hauser & Wirth will be able to showcase Steir’s art in all 16 of its galleries, in cities such as New York, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Zurich. Her New York show this fall will be titled “Blue River and Rainbow Waterfalls,” suggesting it will further her long-standing interest in nature.
Now 82 years old, Steir has gone through several stages in her career that have coincided with varying degrees of fame. Right now she is arguably the subject of more attention than ever before, with big sales of her work and even bigger museum shows.
Throughout her career, Steir has influenced several generations of painters. Her work has provided important examples of how abstraction and conceptualism can coexist.
Marc Payot, president and CEO of Hauser & Wirth, said in an interview that she is a “key painter of her generation who has not received the attention it deserves, not in terms of the market – her market has developed significantly in recent years.” years, but in terms of a retrospective.”
He added: “Breaking out of minimalism and conceptualism, Pat created a visual language all his own – a new abstraction that animation and coincidence, which anchors poetry and philosophy in a practice that also includes writing, performing and mentoring. She is a living legend and a contemporary innovator at the same time.”
Steir was previously represented by Lévy Gorvy, a gallery that recently merged with Salon 94. Together with Amalia Dayan, they formed LGDR. LGDR initially stated that it was not primarily aimed at representing artists, so Steir chose not to join that gallery, Payot said. However, Steir will continue to maintain relationships with galleries that have long displayed her work, including Locks in Philadelphia, Baldwin in Aspen and Thomas Schulte in Berlin.
Although her paintings often resemble simple gestural abstractions, they are guided by predetermined rules and a willingness to leave power to chance.
Her famous “Waterfall” series, started in 1988, involves mounting a tall ladder and dumping paint from above so it can move down on its own. “Gravity will be my co-worker,” she told ART news in 2012.
Less well known, but no less important, are her early works from the 1970s, which made prominent use of text and derived from Buddhist philosophy. During that time she also became involved with the feminist magazine heresies and Semio text(e)known for publishing intoxicating critical theory essays.
In recent years, the Steir market has grown enormously. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, her auction record was set several times. It now stands at over $2 million – a relatively high number for a living female artist.
Steir has had no major museum research in the United States in the past decade, although she did have a major show of new paintings in 2019 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. Shanghai run by ART news Top 200 collectors Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei gave Steir its first show in China.
Payot hinted at ambitions to change this lack of a major retrospective, saying, “We’d love to see her have an institutional show in the coming years, and that’s where Hauser & Wirth can make a difference.”