PAT STEIR

Cheim & Read | February 20 – March 29, 2014

 

Jasper Johns tells Brice Marden
About the drips along the bottom of his paintings:
“How come you do that?”
“Well, you know, you get near the bottom
And you’re bending over, and you get a little tired.”
My sister told me a few who poured and dripped for
Clement Greenberg were never the same again.
It is hard to follow a straight line when you’re
Drunk with single malt whisky and without a
Printed doctrine in Helvetica Neue 75 Bold
On grey resume paper.

Mel Bochner said “did you ever notice, as someone
Once pointed out, that no matter how big or small
The painting, all drips are the same size?”

In Raphael Rubinstein’s “Essay for Two Voices,”
A asks, “Are you able to look exclusively at one half
Of any of these paintings?”
B answers, “Wouldn’t be it like ignoring one side of a dialogue?”

Who said it’s the small opening in between that
Invites us in to a lifetime adventure if we all live long
Enough to tell our grandchildren
That were abandoned by their parents.

Charles Baudelaire said, “He who looks through
An open window sees fewer things than he who looks
Through a closed window.”

With “Black, Blue, Silver and Gold” she has met the
Morality of Clifford Still on the dirt road to the Grand Canyon.
With “Two Whites Over Antique Red Over Cadmium Red”
I was the only witness at the Barnett Newman and Agnes Martin
Wedding at City Hall in style. My friends were angry at me.

How you always forget to tell me the moisture in
Cave Altamira is overwhelming! I won’t dare use
My own hands for authorship. Not for vanity,
But “Silver and White” has carved
A permanent imprint on your recently recovered memory.

In the moment of clarity she was compelled to
Spray the top of her hair with water before brushing it with
Some unnamable five-inch stain brushes,
But it’s not a crime.
It’s Zéro de conduite.

She had cheated actually for there was green and
Yellow before antique red over cadmium red.
She is entitled to rebel every so often.
“Colors Without Names.”
And NAMES with COLORS.
Sì, ne sono certo.

 

Pat Steir, “BLACK, BLUE, SILVER AND GOLD,” 2013. Oil on canvas, 132 × 132 ̋. Photo courtesy Cheim & Read, New York.

 

Contributor

Phong Bui

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