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Pat Steir / Painted Rain / Hauser & Wirth in West Hollywood

Pat Steir

Painted Rain

Hauser & Wirth, West Hollywood, CA

February 28 - May 4, 2024

Renowned for a pioneering approach to painting that synthesizes conceptual art, figuration and abstraction, celebrated American artist Pat Steir unveils a brand new body of work in her first Los Angeles solo exhibition in over 30 years.

‘Painted Rain’ fills the gallery's West Hollywood space with canvases that take as their origin point Steir’s recollections of her time in Los Angeles, in particular, the ocean and sky she experienced while teaching at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in the 1970s.

With their reverberating tones, the new works on view are united by Steir’s exploration of the color blue, here punctuated by other vivid hues, achieving and obtaining mesmerizing optical effects via the artist’s signature streaming, pouring and layering technique. The luminous results extend and expand Steir’s ongoing Waterfall series wherein she intentionally cedes control and allows the paint to create its own image.

‘The first time I went to LA to teach at CalArts in the 1970s, I remember thinking that the city had endless roads, many, many cars, no place to walk, and shockingly bright sunlight. I saw blue skies and ocean.

I was used to New York light, to seeing all colors muted by a gray screen. CalArts gave me a wonderful studio to use. It had a large window the size of a wall. The light was so bright and saturated I couldn’t see the paint colors I mixed. To counteract this light, I made black paintings with rainbows and color scales outside the picture field. That was 50 years ago. When I think of LA now, I think of the sky and the ocean even more than the light, and that’s the origin of my latest work.’

—Pat Steir


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