Pat Steir 1975: An Interview

1975 | 00:42:20 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Interviews, Single Titles

Tags: Blumenthal/Horsfield Interviews, Feminism, Interview, Painting

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Pat Steir (b.1938) is an American painter and printmaker, whose work has resisted artworld currents and factions for decades while maintaining enthusiastic critical support. She graduated from Pratt in 1962 and in 1964 was included in the show Drawing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and had her first solo exhibition at the Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York. She first came to prominence in the 1970s, when her work concentrated on signs and symbols and was close to minimal and conceptual art. This early and very poetic work was based on an iconography that included isolated brushstrokes, color charts, words, and crossed-out images. Since 1987, abstract waterfall imagery in her paintings has continued her simultaneous engagement with the real and the metaphysical, grounding intellectual investigation in sensuous experience. Steir was a founding board member of Printed Matter bookshop and Heresies magazine, and was on the editorial board of Semiotext magazine.

In this interview with Kate Horsfield, Steir recounts the development of her artistic vision and ambition. She describes rejecting both the formalities of Bauhaus style and the male energy of Abstract Expressionism.  Steir remembers the resistance she encountered in her education, “The teacher called me aside and said ‘It looks like a good painting, but I know you and I know that it’s a bad painting.” 

A historical interview originally recorded in 1975. Re-edited in 2009 with support from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund.