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Pat Steir
Winter Tree
1982
oil
59 7/8 x 179 5/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Nancy A. Drysdale and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment



Like a folding screen that can be seen in sections or as a whole, this three-panel painting offers shifting views. Steir associates the urge to paint with a sense of awe and, in this instance, her vantage point moves closer to the tree until it becomes an engulfing field of brushstrokes. She also pays homage to past masters, and was particularly inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's paintings based on Japanese woodcuts.