Veronica Gonzalez Peña Directs New Pat Steir Documentary

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Veronica Gonzalez Peña Directs New Pat Steir Documentary
Documentary film to be released on Apple TV, Prime Video, Digital Platforms, and DVD on June 9, 2020.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pat Steir: Artist, a documentary film directed by Veronica Gonzalez Peña about the life of legendary artist Pat Steir, will be released on Apple TV, Prime Video, and other digital platforms as well as DVD on June 9, 2020. The film is distributed by Giant Pictures, a digital distributor for independent filmmakers.

The impetus for this project stemmed from a series of conversations between Steir and Gonzalez Peña about family, psychoanalysis, poetry and books, Steir’s art practice, feminism, and politics. Because of Gonzalez Peña’s background as a novelist, she has structured the film like a first-person novel; it is character-driven, broken down into chapters, with a circular narrative and a slow reveal of self.

Shot over the course of three years, primarily in Stier’s home and studio, Pat Steir: Artist is a poetic visual exploration of creativity and process, on what it is to live an artistically engaged life. Gonzalez Peña not only showcases Steir’s painting practice but gives Steir a chance to speak about her childhood, her experiences in New York in the 70s and 80s, and her relationships with artistic mentors notably Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, and John Cage. Pat Steir: Artist is a refreshingly candid and revelatory portrait of a trailblazing feminist, who was a leader in the development of Conceptual Abstraction and who has been on the forefront of American painting for half a century.

“Pat Steir and I met eight years ago, and immediately recognized something in each other,” said Gonzalez Peña. “We not only had many friends in common but also a similar way of thinking about artistic practices. At a time when I was moving from writing into filmmaking, Pat provided me with a way to think about that shift. I cast her as one of the principal characters in my film Cordelia, alongside Michel Auder, Douglas Gordon, and Alice Weiner. It was at this point that Pat and I started speaking about making a film together,” she added.

Art world notables in the film include Steir, John Cage, Sylvère Lotringer, Anne Carson, Alexis Acton, Oliver Alex, Penelope Pardo and Joost Elffers with cameos by Kiki Smith, Anne Waldman, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, John Giorno, Ugo Rondione, Richard Tuttle, Linda Yablonsky, Joan Jonas, Lynn Tillman, Marc Glimcher, Elan Gentry, and Sandy Calder.

Pat Steir
With a career that has spanned over half a century, Pat Steir is a leading force in the development of Postmodern abstraction. Best known for her dripped, splashed and poured “waterfall” paintings, all of her work exists in conversation with various art historical movements—from Abstract Expressionism to traditional Chinese painting. Working with these influences, the artist creates meditative, often large-scale pieces that frequently reference the natural world.

Steir graduated from Pratt Institute in New York City in 1962. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Artist’s Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant. She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from Pratt Institute, as well as being an Alumni Honoree from both Pratt Institute and Boston University. Steir worked as an editor for semiotext(e) magazine and was a founding board member of both the Printed Matter bookshop in New York City and the landmark feminist journal Heresies.

Pat Steir’s work has been exhibited in hundreds of shows and is held in the permanent collections of major museums worldwide including The Barnes Foundation; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C; Fondation Cartier, Paris; Louvre, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Gallery, London, among other institutions.

Veronica Gonzalez Peña / rockypoint Productions
Veronica Gonzalez Peña is a novelist and filmmaker born in Mexico City and raised in Los Angeles. She founded rockypoint Productions in 2013 to produce artist-driven films. Pat Steir: Artist is her first documentary. In addition to Pat Steir, Gonzalez Peña has worked with Michel Auder, Chris Kraus, Sylvère Lotringer, Douglas Gordon, Tala Madani, Ben Ehrenreich, Michael Silverblatt, Servane Mary and Penelope Pardo. She is currently working on a film about Lawrence Weiner titled Lawrence Weiner: Writing on the Wall.

Prior to 2013, Gonzalez Peña authored the award-winning novel Twin Time: or, how death befell me, and an acclaimed second novel, The Sad Passions. Both novels have been hailed as poetic, richly visual, and deeply moving in publications such as Oprah Magazine, The LA Times, and The Los Angeles Literary Review. Veronica’s book on the Mexican drug war, So Far From God, was part of the semiotext(e) exhibition in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Since 2013, Veronica has moved into increasingly performative work, writing scripts for films she directs and produces, as well as a play, which starred Charlotte Rampling in her first theatrical performance. Neck of the Woods, directed by Douglas Gordon, premiered in the UK in 2015 as part of the Manchester Festival.

Gonzalez Peña lives in New York.

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