From our review of "Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line" at the RISD Museum:
The wreckage at the end of Modernist art's main thrust is the starting point for "Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line," a four-decade retrospective of the New Yorker's drawings at the RISD Museum. Modernism's drive to break art down to its essential, atomic, abstract elements climaxed in the '60s with Minimalism's all-white paintings and giant steel cubes and then Conceptual art's dematerialization of art altogether. Steir is part of a generation of artists who, beginning in the '70s, struggled to pick up the pieces and reverse engineer art again.Read the rest here.
Steir's early efforts are often awkward and at times tedious, but RISD curator Jan Howard — who helped organize Steir's last major drawing and print retrospective at the University of Kansas in 1983 — and independent curator Susan Harris assemble them into a sharp, scholarly show, one of the best of the year. And about two-thirds of the way through, it explodes into ravishing beauty.
"Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line,"RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, Feb. 19 to July 3, 2010.
Pictured from top to bottom: Pat Steir, "The Austria Group. No. 2," 1991; "The Burial Mound at Stonehenge," 1973; Untitled, 1985; "February Series, II," 1991; "Drawing," 1991-92; and Untitled, 2008. All ©Pat Steir and courtesy of the artist. Some from the RISD Museum. One from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA. Digital image ©The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resources, NY.