Pat Steir: Kairos at Lévy Gorvy
Pat Steir is a master. Is that an outdated art term? So what. She’s a master and the works in Kairos, her current show at Lévy Gorvy, are all masterpieces. Which is to say, Steir is an artist who has been showing for over fifty years, she’s at the top of her game, making work specifically for this space. This doesn’t happen often, folks. The last time it did was Cy Twombly’s Bacchus at Gagosian in 2005, which Roberta Smith called, an “aging artist letting it rip.” Truth is, art might not get any better than an aging artist letting it rip, and Steir delivers the goods. Go, if you haven’t already. It closes on Saturday and it would suck to miss this one.
In the excellent video produced for the show, Steir describes the work as “not about meaning, but about the moment.” So, don’t spend time reading the press release or looking at the checklist. Just let yourself be open, because Steir is going for something no press release or wall label can extrapolate: an experience. Each one of these paintings is the perfect combination of chance, nature and the mastery of materials. None of them is over-worked. There isn’t a quirky one thrown in just for fun. This is pure Steir, in the zone, trying to guide experience into becoming objects. She succeeds. Catch the light as it shines through countless layers of paint frozen amidst gravity’s pull. It’s a beautiful and indescribable thing, like a vague but sweet memory, the way day slips into evening, or a world without cynicism.