Pat Steir

"A Good Process for Thinking"

  • Pat Steir has collaborated with Pace Prints for over twenty years. In 2015, Master Printer Jo Watanabe installed a complete screenprinting workshop inside of Steir's studio to create the largest and most ambitious series of prints in her career.

    The resulting work is the culmination of Steir's fifty-year evolution as a printmaker, over which she has forged a unique and organic approach to the medium, where gesture, time and chance guide the outcome of each unique print.

    As this project reached its conclusion, we visited Steir in her studio, where she shared her thoughts on printmaking and her philosophy of art in general.  What emerged is an intimate portrait of one of the most singular and original artists of our era.


  • "Set of Four Lines" (2015)
  • "August Waterfall" (2000)

    Over time, Steir’s prints have evolved from etchings that convey a sense of movement, to silkscreens which retain the direct record of her mark.

  • My work is, in many ways, out of control.1


    An element of chance is key to Steir’s approach.  She allows the paint to move and though she may guide it, she often lets the paint determine the energy of her compositions.


  • Footage © Molly Davies
  • "Three Strokes" (2013)
  • View of Pat Steir's studio, 2015

    Steir has married painting and printmaking. She works on all things in tandem. In her studio, there is no hierarchy in types of art making. 


  • "Diptych B (Red)" (2015)
  • View of Pat Steir's studio, 2015

    I don't touch the canvas. I pour the paint. They're all poured. So that's my – one of my rules. You don't touch the canvas. You pour or throw paint. You put each color on separately. Don't blend colors. So I have my set of rules that I stick to, limitations more than rules.2


  • "Triptych D" (2015)
  • Art is a way you discover the past, and so it brings the past into the present and the future.3

    Pat Steir: Color Wheel at the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. will be installed until January of 2021. Visit the exhibition online.

  • Footnotes

    1. My work is, in many ways, out of control...  Interview with Pace Prints (June 2, 2015)

    2. I don't touch the canvas. I pour the paint...  Archives of American Art interview with Pat Steir (March 1 and 2, 2008)

    3. Art is a way you discover the past...  Artists at Work: Pat Steir, Interview Magazine (August 8, 2016)


    All works of art © Pat Steir

    Video and audio interviews recorded in 2015 © Pace Editions.

    Video of Pat Steir painting © Molly Davies.  Excerpted from:
    Pat Steir - Triptych
    Pat Steir - Gold Stroke
    Pat Steir - Painting in Vermont Studio