National Museum of Women in the Arts
Pat Steir
April 10 1940 - present
Photograph of Pat Steir, courtesy of Pat Steir Studio, New York, NY, USA
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
pat steer
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Painting
Artistic Role(s):
Aquatinter, Designer, Etcher, Illustrator, Painter, Printmaker
Conceptual Art
Artist's Biography:
Pat Steir was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1940, and is known for her expressive paintings, drawings and prints which explore the techniques and styles of different media and artists. Steir studied at the Pratt Institute in New York from 1956 to 1958 and then from 1960 to 1962, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She began painting at the height of Abstract Expressionism’s popularity and studied under Philip Guston and Richard Lindar. Her first solo show was held at the Terry Dintenfass Gallery in New York in 1964.

From 1968 to 1970, Steir worked as the art director and book designer at Harper & Row in New York. In addition to designing book covers, Steir worked on her own drawings, prints and paintings. The influence of printed words and the interplay of words and images pervade her work from that period.

Steir began to further explore printmaking techniques, and in 1975, stopped painting to concentrate on her drawings and prints. She resumed painting in 1976 and began traveling to Europe where she studied the works of Courbet, Turner, Rembrandt, Vermeer, de Kooning and Van Gogh. In what is perhaps her best known work, The Brueghel Series (A Vanitas of Style), 1982-1985, Steir pays homage to great artists from history. The work is comprised of eighty panels, each panel representing one artist. In 1982, Steir traveled to Japan and began to explore calligraphy and Japanese landscapes.

In When I Think of Venice, 1980, she uses aquatint, spit bite, hard and soft ground etching and drypoint techniques to create a technical culmination of her printmaking training. Her prints, drawings and paintings reveal the influence of other artists and cultures. She lives and works in New York and Amsterdam.

Other Occupation(s):
Art Director, Professor, Traveler
Place(s) of Residence:
New York
Where Trained/Schools:
Pratt Institute, New York, NY, USA (1960-1962, 1956-1958) Boston University, Boston, MA, USA (1958-1960)
Related Visual Artists:
sister of Karen Sukoneck wife of Merle Steir wife of Joost Elffers student of Richard Lindar student of Philip Guston
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art, Pratt Institute, New York, NY, USA (1991) Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York, NY, USA (1982) Individual Artist's Grant, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, USA (1974)
Earliest exhibition:
Pat Steir, Terry Ditenfass Gallery, New York, NY, USA (1964)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Presswork: The Art of Women Printmakers
Steven Scott Collects: Donations and Promised Gifts to the Permanent Collection
Book as Art II
The Washington Print Club Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition: Graphic Legacy
Gardener's Delight
Artist retrospective(s):
Pat Steir: Ways of Seeing, Paintings, Drawing, Prints of the 1980s, New Jersey Center for Visual Art, Summit, NJ, USA (1990)
Waterfall of a Misty Dawn, 1990
Waterfall of a Misty Dawn