Endless Line & Self Portrait

  • Duration
    April 4 – June 16, 2013
  • Works by
    Pat Steir

For this exhibition, internationally renowned artist Pat Steir worked with students in the Newcomb Art Department to create two site-specific installations in the gallery.

Since the late 1980s, Steir has been known for her dripped and splashed waterfall imagery that reveal her interest in nineteenth-century Romantic paintings, Abstract Expressionism, Chinese landscape painting, and the Chinese convention of flung ink painting. A lesser-known but equally significant part of Steir’s oeuvre are the wall drawings and installations. When inserted into architecture, these installations transform painting into a three-dimensional experience.

Endless Line, a variation on works previously at New York’s Whitney Museum and Berlin’s Galerie Thomas Schulte, appear in the gallery’s two side rooms. In the installation, an undulating line floats across walls washed with six layers of transparent blue paint and segmented with an expansive red grid. The scale of the work requires viewers to follow the line through the gallery space, moving backward and forward as if in time.

The gallery’s large back room displays Self Portrait, the fourteenth permutation of a work first at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in 1987 and subsequently at venues in Canada and Europe. Steir created Self Portrait using Renaissance-era instructional sketches of facial features and Albrecht Dürer depictions of the body, redrawn onto walls in an enlarged format. The anonymity of the facial features echoes the depersonalized artist’s hand in the installation process.


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