press release

PAT STEIR – A Nearly Endless Line #3 November 19, 2011 to January 14, 2012 Opening Friday, November 18, 7-9 pm Öffnungszeiten Galerie telefon +49 (0)30 20 60 89 90 Dienstag bis Samstag Thomas Schulte GmbH telefax +49 (0)30 20 60 89 910 12 bis 18 Uhr Charlottenstraße 24 Und nach Vereinbarung D-10117 Berlin On Friday, November 18, 2011, from 7 to 9 pm, Galerie Thomas Schulte will be opening a large site-specific wall installation by Pat Steir, the first by the artist at the gallery in eighteen years. The artist will be present at the opening.

With her concept-oriented painting, Pat Steir has been a fixture in the New York art world for decades. Her work has been honored with numerous shows at museums around the world and many publications. For many years now, a special aspect of her painterly oeuvre has been wall painting, which she has developed with her own personal style, pursuing various visual strands and concepts over the course of her career.

One of these paths was already evident in 1993 in the space of the former Galerie Franck + Schulte: a spectacular wall drawing that was followed by a huge work at Magasin: Centre National d’Art Contemporarin in Grenoble. Until today, this was one of the most outstanding events in the exhibition history of Galerie Thomas Schulte. In her new work A Nearly Endless Line #3, developed for the gallery’s corner space, she takes exhibitions that were held in Winter 2010 at Whitney Museum of American Art (The Endless Line) and Sue Scott Gallery in New York (Another Endless Line) as her point of departure. The artist works on a foundation that consists of 12 to 15 layers of acrylic paint applied translucently, giving it an oscillating and yet invulnerable quality. This foundation is framed and contrasted with regular straight patterns made of think chalk lines onto which she draws lines in a seemingly free, almost calligraphic manner. But the line is so precisely calculated that, although painted over the room corners and seen from a distance, seems to abolish the structure of the gallery space and appear to be on a continuous surface. With simple means, the artist thus creates an optical illusion that is entirely unexpected, transforming painting to an almost three-dimensional experience. At the same time, she explores in this cycle what can be created with a single brushstroke. The paint or material is what makes up the artwork in this installation. In so doing, technique and image fuse to form a unity.

She came to this way of working in her famous waterfall paintings, which made her prominent in the late 1980s. They reflect an interest in nineteenth century romantic painting, in abstract expressionism, in Chinese landscape painting, and in the Chinese tradition of so-called “flung ink painting.” Steir says about her own installations: “Installation allows the artist to paint out of the painting and into the space and the viewer to move from space into a painting – the space where the act of painting takes place is in the imagination of the viewer.” The line dividing artwork and beholder thus blurs, and everything fuses to an almost endless line.

Pat Steir (born in 1940 in Newark, NJ) has been a recipient of the Guggenheim Artist’s Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant. She has also been awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Pratt Institute and declared an honorary alumna of Boston University. With roots in literature and writing, Steir wrote for Semiotext and was a founding member of New York’s Printed Matter Bookshop and the feminist journal Heresies. Her work can be found in important international collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The Tate Gallery, London; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. The artist lives and works in New York and Vermont.

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Pat Steir
A Nearly Endless Line #3