Sue Scott Gallery

Pat Steir’s Spring Fling

Robin Cembalest
Let My Peple Show, May 2012

For years in her travels around the world, Pat Steir has seen graffiti that resembles her signature drips. Those precedents were on her mind last Friday, when she donned a painter’s jumpsuit, climbed a ladder, and began splashing the wall on Rivington Street, below Sue Scott Gallery, in looping arcs of in red, yellow, blue, and white. By the time she was done, a few hours later, it looked as though a luminous, multicolored scrim had materialized, obscuring but not quite obliterating the landscape of bubble letters and torn posters beneath it.

In a sense the project was a continuation of Steir’s  Nearly Endless Line , her site-specific painting at the gallery in 2010, which also materialized on the outside wall. But this was more like a tagging than a wall painting—if not exactly a covert operation, given that the landlord said he was OK with it. That’s why Tom McGrath, whose post-painterly nocturnes currently inhabit the gallery, suggested a new title, Under the Cover of Daylight. It stuck.

Steir says that taggers were respectful of her last contribution to Rivington Street, so we’ll see what happens this time. That means Under the Cover of Daylight will be on view on Rivington just off Bowery, until it’s not.

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