She has become known for her “drip”- style paintings, which often represent a challenge to the hegemony of Jackson Pollock. Poet and art critic John Yau wrote that Steir’s work “tends to focus on time passing, its entropic power,” transmitting to the viewer, the deep physicality of time. Pat Steir’s Waterfall Paintings are in part created through the effects of gravity on the medium and the exigencies of chance. Each painting is precisely planned and realized according to a set of rules that the artist predetermined. Steir’s approach is at once contingent on process and prearranged – a duality paralleled through the way in which her work traverses the boundary between abstraction and representation.
Steir is a recipient of the Guggenheim Artist’s Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from Pratt Institute, as well as an Alumni Honoree from both Pratt Institute and Boston University. Steir worked as an editor for Semiotext magazine and was a founding board member of both the Printed Matter bookshop in New York City and the landmark feminist journal Heresies. Important solo exhibitions include the National Academy Museum, New York (2013), Museo Academia San Carlos in Mexico City (2013), Newcomb Art Gallery, New Orleans (2013), the Whitney Museum of American Art (2011), Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2010), Reykjavik Art Museum (2007), Texas Gallery, Houston (2005), Galleria Nationale Moderne Borghese (2003), Boise Art Museum (2003), Contemporary Arts Museum, Honolulu (2001), and Madison Art Center (2001). Significant group exhibitions include the AC Institute, New York (2013), Castello Svevo, Bari (2013), Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg (2012), San Antonio Museum of Art (2011), Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington (2010), The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (2009), Orlando Museum of Art (2007), Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo (2006), ZKM, Karlsruhe (2006), National Academy, New York (2006), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (2004). Her work is included in major public collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., SFMOMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Tate, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Pat Steir lives and works in New York City.