Pat Steir is best-recognised for her dripped, splashed and poured “waterfall” paintings, influenced by Chinese Yi-pin “ink-splashing” painters of the 8th and 9th centuries, which she first started in the late 1980s. Mentored by John Cage, Steir learned of “non-doing” from him, and allowed the role of chance to enter her work. A long-time friend of Agnes Martin, whom she visited in New Mexico every year for 30 years, the great artist’s advice to Steir coincided with Cage’s and both informed her direction. Martin showed her the “magic” of work in which the artist “invests their spirit into an object.”
“Paint, once applied, flows downwards, its serendipitous path routed by its own unpredictable journey.” Steir allowed gravity, time and the environment to determine a work’s result.
Pat Steir lives and works in New York. She has had recent exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, The Neuberger Museum and The Contemporary Arts Center in. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art among many others.