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Pat Steir

In 1988, Steir traveled to Guilin (a region in China also called Kweilin). She drew a sketch of the area from memory, which printers in Beijing translated into a spare woodcut print made up of two clusters of watery blue dashes, two moons (one seen faintly behind a cluster of dashes), a light blue horizon line, and a dozen or so blue spatters. Over the next ten years, Steir used ninety of the woodcut prints, sometimes varying their orientation, as supports for unique watercolors. She describes the “infinite possibility” of using a single image in a variety of ways “irresistible.”

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Pat Steir (right) in China, examining wood blocks used to print her Kweilin Dreaming series

Banner image: Detail, Pat Steir, Kweilin Dreaming 88, 1998, color woodcut with hand-painting and pen-and-ink drawing on silk mounted to paper, Crown Point Press, © Pat Steir

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