Late Nights at the Whitney
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Visible through the Madison Avenue windows of the Whitney Museum of American Art is a vast new wall painting created by artist Pat Steir, commissioned by Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director. The painting, which went on view to the public in late December, is on a large west-facing wall in the Museum’s Lower Gallery level. The wall encloses the space where the Whitney’s restaurant is being renovated in preparation for the opening, in spring 2011, of a new café by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.
Another Nearly Endless Line (2010) is composed on a wall washed with fourteen layers of transparent blue and purple acrylic paint, with a chalk grid of Pompeian red drawn upon the ground, and a swirling, undulating, painted line in red, orange, and yellow. The painted line, perhaps evoking a text, a road, a message, or a musical score, pulls the eye from the upper left across the wall and back again, until the line seems to disappear into the floor. Speaking of the work, the artist noted, “It’s almost like a map you can’t follow, a road map to a place you can’t go…” This is Steir’s second wall painting for the Whitney; the previous one was done by the artist in the same location in 1997.