Treib's paintings are composed around sensuous details, absences, and shifts in perspective. While her work draws on far-ranging references – a hand glimpsed in an early 15th Century Russian icon, the outline of a sleeve in a Piero della Francesca fresco, the contours of a 35 mm camera – Treib's true subject is the process of looking, through which she discovers new relationships while dismantling what is merely recognisable.
The paintings focus on the space between forms, making in-betweenness a primary motif. Peripheral elements become central presences, suggesting icons or calligraphic gestures in flux. Although made in one sitting, the paintings develop through an accumulation of rehearsals. Treib will frequently repeat, remove, remake, and adjust precise configurations within her compositions. Each work seeks to bring together a multiplicity of times and a history of past iterations. She will often work with a reference for several years, tracing the evolution of a motif through time.
Areas of colour that interact on a neutral ground – twisting and curving their way to become shapes that play against one another – also characterise Treib's paintings. Colours that are clashing in hue yet close in value form correspondences while provoking disjuncture. Her paintings are delicate yet structured and formed using wide, visible marks. A sensuousness in the application of paint - at once measured and urgent - manifests in contrasts of transparent and opaque washes of matte pigment. In Hem and Pleat, a central shape is simultaneously asserted as a thing and pushed back as an immaterial aperture or opening. Similar shifts and transformations are in constant motion, in all of Treib's paintings, in both subtle and vivid ways.
Patricia Treib was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and lives and works in Brooklyn. Solo New York exhibitions have been held at Wallspace, (2013), and Tibor de Nagy, (2012). Selected group exhibitions include Modern Talking at the Cluj Museum, Cluj, Romania (2012); Expanded Painting, Prague Biennale 5, Prague, Czech Republic (2011); Besides, With, Against, And Yet: Abstraction and The Ready-Made Gesture, The Kitchen (2009). Treib has had residencies at the Dora Maar House (2014), The MacDowell Colony (2013), and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation's Space Program (2007). She received an MFA from Columbia University in 2006 and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001.