Art 2 – Divided picture plane – Pat Steir – Due Mon 3/18


1. Listen to the interview and pay close attention to the ideas about painting as conceptual. Consider how your divided picture plane portrait is conceptual and comment on your strategy.

2. Look at her installation in the following two links and comment on the expanded way this self-portrait works for the viewer.

Pat Steir self-portrait installation

Pat Steir ears

If you find this artist interesting, read the review below, (look up images for her Brueghel series) and voice your opinion about the critic’s assessment of her Brueghel series.

NY Times review


11 responses »

  1. Pat Steir called her artwork “a conversation in the ink” which seemed to be a good way to describe the way that her art was made. She used color related to meaning, and the illusion of deep space to give her paintings depth and meaning. She said that unlike others, she considers paintings to be conceptual as well as drawings. The Pat Steir self-portrait installation was an interesting idea, and I liked how the artwork was just drawn in chalk on the wall. It was interesting to learn that the work was copied from artists that drew hundreds of years ago. The picture that had all of the ears that she drew is interesting because there are so many different shapes of ears, which you wouldn’t think would vary as much as shown in the artist’s work.

    • It’s interesting to look at things in isolation and consider them out of context. It forces us to look at them more closely sometimes. But, then again, that is also how we look at masterworks, sometimes isolating our examination of certain parts.

  2. Pat Steir strongly believes that painting is conceptual. She claims that the relationship between form, color, meaning, illusion, and myth lays the groundwork for conceptual artwork. She then goes on to talk about how the portrayal of deep space and things like the depiction of walls versus emptiness also results in conceptual artwork. I thought the Pat Steir self-portrait installation was interesting. It seemed like something a scientist who was observing the similarities and differences in human anatomy would draw on the walls of his/her house. Similar to Urocyon, one of the things I found most interesting about the Pat Steir self-portrait installation and her drawings of ears is that, although there are many drawings of the same general subject (such as the drawings of the eyes, the ears, the lips, the full-length bodies, etc.) the shapes are extremely varied.

    • It’s interesting that you and urocyon picked up on her spatial intentions. It’s always important to allow yourself to view a work long enough to see how the space works and that the forms can pulsate or push and pull, if you give them a chance (which would be longer than the average 2-3 sec viewing that crowds do in a museum!)

  3. Pat Steir gave a very interesting perspective on portrait drawings. She describes her close attention to detail, anatomy, and general style in a scientific way. I found that each part of the face (especially the ears) was interesting to hear her talk about. She talks about each part individually and what they do to create the whole. She provides information on how she finds the similarities and differences and how this accumulates to become part of a picture plain of extremely varied shapes that is fluid.

  4. I thought that it was interesting how she says that she works with color and form, and I liked how she creates an abyss in her art, which makes it interesting to look at. I also like the color schemes she uses.
    I like how her installations look like sketches or studies of the human body. I liked also all the different shapes of eyes and ears.

  5. I liked her idea and her work is really interesting. She describes how she used color and form related to the meaning, and the illusion of deep space to give her paintings depth and meaning. She has different ideas from others; she paints the same as drawing which has more detail on the part of the face. I am interested in all of the ears that she drew because there are so many different shapes of ears. I think I m going to use realistic colors for my portrait painting because i think it is easy to see what is the part and how it looks.

  6. I thought it was interesting how Pat Steir describes the specific elements of her work and how they are related. I especially thought the part about how the illusion of “deep space” and how it essentially creates an abyss for the viewer. I also thought it was interesting how she said that color was related to meaning, and I definitely agree with that. I thought the ear paintings were very detailed and varied, showing many different viewpoints and perspectives.

  7. For a overview of her work, in my opinion, she likes to create creative things by very simple work. Without the over colored things, sometimes, the simplist is the best. From her interview, i found that color is an important thing for her. Color means the meaning of the paint, like the soul. So the color needs to be used in a right way but the wrong way. It is better woth no color than a forced colorful painting.

  8. I do like how the simple ideas she comes up with are all connect in a more abstract sense. She takes a traditionally technical idea and adds an edge. I definitely agree with the review of her exhibit. It does seem quite lively, however I think it lacks something. After looking at some of her other works, Steir’s “self portraits” seem to lack a spark. While I do enjoy the exhibit, I don’t think it should be considered the culmination of her work.

  9. i like her art work a lot because most of it is very simple looking but she adds color and texture and little details to make it more interesting. the ears she drew were ineresting because there were so many different ones. same with the eyes and noses and mouths. i liked the drawings of eyes and eye brows on the walls. they are all so different. i think she pays close attention to detail in her work. i like all the paintings she does on the walls and i think all her work is very unique.

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