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Image of Wind and Water

Pat Steir
American, born 1940

Wind and Water


Object Type: Print
35 3/4 in. x 35 3/4 in. (90.81 cm x 90.81 cm)
Medium and Support: Color aquatint on paper
Accession Number: 1996.0009

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase

The print in the MMFA collection, Wind and Water, is part of Steir's ongoing series of waterfall paintings and prints, begun around 1989. Steir has created the paintings by thinning oil paint with water then dripping or splashing it across the canvas to suggest falling water. Though the works in this series are abstract, Steir has assigned titles which suggest that they be read as figurative. However, many contain elements which continually remind the viewer of the two-dimensional surface of the works and thereby deny the illusions the titles suggest, setting up a continual interpretive struggle for the viewer. The waterfall paintings and prints have been compared to Chinese landscape painting and, because of the drip technique Steir uses, also to the works of Jackson Pollock, though they are both technically and energetically more restrained than Pollock's works. The prints in the waterfall series, like the one in the MMFA collection, are unusual in that they mimic the appearance of paint. More commonly, Steir's graphic works clearly reflect the medium in which they were produced through emphasis on line and shading.

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