Powerful New Pat Steir Documentary Showcases Intrepid Painter’s Rich Mind

Pat Steir in her studio.VERONICA GONZALEZ PEÑA

When making an artist documentary, there’s something to be said for just letting the subject talk at length, and so it seems appropriate that the artist Pat Steir is allowed to speak for almost the full run time of Pat Steir: Artist, Veronica Gonzalez Peña’s new film about her.

Over the course of the documentary, which releases on Tuesday for rental on streaming services, the 82-year-old artist, intrepid as ever, dishes on the status of women in the art world, offers insight into the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, expounds on John Cage’s experimental music, muses on the necessity of protest, and acutely dissects her own dreams, mining them for deeply psychological meaning. Her art is, of course, the subject here, but it often feels secondary to all the ideas that Steir is constantly mulling.

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