In the latest issue of The Brooklyn Rail I wrote about “The Nearly Endless Line,” Pat Steir’s installation at Sue Scott. “It’s one thing to understand the empiricist philosophers’ notion that the observed and the observer cannot really be separated, quite another to vivify it through visual art. But in “The Nearly Endless Line,” a new installation at Sue Scott Gallery, Pat Steir does just that, with both subtlety and force. A mildly agitated, wide white line snakes around the walls of the darkened gallery at eye level. The walls themselves, painted with layers of flat, burnished blue-black paint, seem to recede like a dark sea into the night, while the line, lit with blue light (a technique she has used before), appears to hover untethered in the space. But at no point can viewers see the whole line, so they must follow it through the gallery, into the back room, and ultimately back to the beginning. At once a path forward and a record of the past, the line is painted with an elegantly brushy stroke that intermittently loops back on itself to form knotty snarls and kinks. Walking through the darkened space, observers find themselves inside Steir’s painting, where they become part of the illusion she has created with paint and light. The ‘nearly endless line’ scans convincingly as life itself….” Read more.
“Pat Steir: The Nearly Endless Line,” Sue Scott, New York, NY. Through January 9, 2011.