Pat Lipsky: Color World

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4 Great Jones Street New York, New York 10012 646 998 3727


Introduction by Jennifer Samet

Essay by Pat Lipsky

Eric Firestone Press 2024


Pat Lipsky recently reflected, “Much of my life as a painter has been spent searching for colors which will work together to create what Hans Hofmann called ‘a color world.’” Lipsky’s contributions to the modes of Color Field Painting and Lyrical Abstraction were highlighted with remarkably successful exhibitions at André Emmerich Gallery between 1970–1975. Explorations in her recent work bring the artist full circle, making new paintings that are in conversation with a high point of her past.  Lipsky’s “Wave” paintings, made between 1969–1975, are exuberant, vivid, and fresh. They are, by necessity, painted in one shot: acrylic on unprimed canvas, with color bands in loose wave formations that dissolve into drips and splatters at the edges. The images do not extend to the canvas’s perimeter but rather float in empty space. Lipsky has reflected on this exhilarating period of time, 1969–1971:

I got a studio on 11th Street. I loved going down there. I would stop at Chock Full o’Nuts and get two coffees to go. The paintings from the night before would be lying on the floor. I’d climb on top of the ladder and look down at them. I remember the smell and the feel of the canvas. I have never been happier. I’d see how the paintings looked, whether I’d been on or off the day before. Then I’d hang them up on the wall, and see how they looked up. Then I’d tack some new canvas onto the floor and start working. The canvas would be blank, just like a big piece of white paper on the floor. I’d sponge the whole thing down with water. Then I’d start pouring color onto the canvas. I had these wonderful silk cosmetic sponges of different sizes that I’d collected. I’d dance, I’d play, I’d rub.

Lipsky was born and raised in New York City, receiving her BFA from Cornell University and her MFA from Hunter College. At Hunter, she found a mentor in

the sculptor Tony Smith. He encouraged Lipsky to work abstractly. Lipsky recalls that Smith told her artists could only express “real feeling” with abstraction. “He said that [the figurative paintings] I was doing [at the time were] an illustration of feeling, not the feelings themselves.” Lipsky recognized that many of Smith’s own positions about color and composition stemmed from Bauhaus philosophy, as Smith studied at the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937–1938.


right : Pat Lipsky, Yaqui, 1969. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 80⅝ x 117¼ inches. Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Photo by Lee Stalsworth

below : Morris Louis, 1-68, 1962. Acrylic resin on canvas, 84½ x 42⅝ inches. © 2024 Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Rights Administered by Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, All Rights Reserved

opposite : Pat Lipsky in her SoHo loft, 1973. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Pat Lipsky

Very soon after graduating from Hunter, Lipsky was given a solo exhibition at André Emmerich Gallery. Her work was in direct conversation with that of her immediate predecessors Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland, all of whom also exhibited with Emmerich during the period. Lipsky was included in the Aldrich Museum’s 1970 Lyrical Abstraction exhibition, which traveled to the Whitney Museum of Art. Larry Aldrich defined this new movement, writing:

Early last season, it became apparent that in painting there was a movement away from the geometric, hard-edge, and minimal, toward more lyrical, sensuous, romantic abstractions in colors which were softer and more vibrant. Painters were creating, in significant numbers, works that were visually “beautiful”— up to then, in the art world of the sixties, a dirty word . . . The artist’s touch is always visible in this type of painting, even when the paintings are done with spray guns, sponges, or other objects.

Lipsky’s description of her process is indeed sensuous: the smells, the feelings, the movements between painter and painting. The resulting works do not refer to specific things or places, even with titles like Firefly and Wooster, but they are about the physicality and pleasure of their making, and the interactions that occur, between water, color, and cotton duck, and the beauty that results


left : Helen Frankenthaler, Flood, 1967. Acrylic on canvas, 124¼ x 140½ inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art. © 2024 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

below : Pat Lipsky in her Hoosick Falls studio, 1971. Photo by Joel Lipsky, courtesy of Pat Lipsky

opposite : Helen Frankenthaler, Pat Lipksy, unidentified gallery visitor, and Martha Singer in front of French Painting at Lipsky’s 1975 André Emmerich Gallery exhibition. Photo by Thomas Victor

at these meeting-points. Hers is a process that balances intuition and spontaneity with a more measured approach, as she stands back to survey what has been made, and only then decides where the edges of the painting will be. The edges of her Wave paintings are an adaptation of Jackson Pollock’s drips. She had her first encounter with Pollock’s work as a teenager, which turned out to be formative.

I was about fourteen and I wandered into MoMA— simply because I was interested in painting. I was also interested in Manhattan style which could be studied there (one had to wear the obligatory outfit, black tights, leotard top, and Capezio shoes—very Audrey Hepburn—just to get past the admissions desk). So, I walked into this room and there were these strange paintings up, a lot of them. As I walked further in and looked around the room it felt like it was shifting, I became dizzy and nauseous and was forced to leave without even checking the name of the artist. But I didn’t forget the images that had, perhaps in their freedom, threatened me. In a college art class a few years later, there were reproductions shown and I figured out that the paintings had been by Jackson Pollock and were in his 1956 memorial exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

She spent the summer of 1969 ten minutes down the road from the home of Pollock and Lee Krasner on Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton, where she “she thought being that close, some of the Pollock vibe might waft my way.” She would meet Krasner, who by this time was a widower. This period was a defining moment in


Lipsky’s career, as it was then that she devised and created her first wave paintings. These works combined her impeccable sense of color with an innovative process, and an unmistakable homage to Pollock’s drip paintings at the edges of the canvas. These works contain a richness beyond just the aesthetic experience provided by Lipsky’s color choices; the composition is charged with an energy that can only be attributed to her active, jubilant method of painting. She would thoroughly soak a blank canvas with water, then she distributed the paint by, as she says, “dancing and playing.”

One of Lipsky’s closest friends in the art world was the critic Clement Greenberg. Lipsky related to and respected the rigor of Greenberg’s discerning eye and his objectivity in questions of taste. Lipsky remains steadfast in her belief that beauty and “an expression of rightness” (Mark Rothko’s term)—created by the right color relations and compositional organization—are primary to painting. Lipsky met Greenberg at André Emmerich in the 1960s and reconnected with him in the 1970s when he was lecturing at Bennington College and she was living in Hoosick Falls, NY, near the Vermont border. They remained friends throughout his life, engaged in lively conversations—Greenberg frequenting

Lipsky’s studio, sharing ideas and pithy expressions that Lipsky savored. In a poignant New Criterion article that serves as a memoir of their friendship, Lipsky writes:

It occurs to me now that, so far, Clem himself has not stood the test of time. I seem to be the only person still talking about him. It’s like I’m standing on the shore, and the boat that is the art world is way, way off in the distance. No one has replaced him—not in New York and not for me. Clem is the only person I’ve ever known who stood for something.

Lipsky has been called “an unrepentant abstract painter.” She cites a broad range of influences across literature, music, film, and visual art, such as Marcel Proust, T.S. Eliot, Bach, Thelonius Monk, Eric Rohmer, Monty Python, Josef Albers, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Helen Frankenthaler. What unifies Lipsky’s interests within this diverse array of artists and mediums is the way that dissonances in each work affect the totality. She has said that her goal as an artist is “getting an image that resonates, that has some magic to it, that creates an aura. It’s that ‘there it is’ feeling in the painting. Really, it’s not something you can put into words. If you could, you wouldn’t have to paint it.”


Alone in a Room

IT’S AROUND 9:30 and I’m walking up Tenth Avenue to my studio on West Twenty-sixth. The building that houses it started out as a book-binding firm by the name of Wolff, which is still printed in stone over the first set of front doors. In fact, in the 1950s and ’60s, the whole block between Tenth and Eleventh was given over to bookbinding. The second entrance, the one I take, is in the middle of the block and has big glass doors. They lead into a nondescript lobby where there’s a small elevator, the slowest in Chelsea. Khan sits patiently inside waiting for the next passenger. He takes me up to ten.

My big, high-ceilinged studio at the end of a long corridor faces south. Entering it, the first thing I experience is silence. (Especially in contrast to the noise I just heard walking over.) The second is privacy. Because my name is on the door, no one can enter unless invited. Nor is the large room a part of something else—a house, a school, an apartment. It’s only for me to work in . A moment of great happiness in my later life was pasting the letters of my name onto the door of room 1011. They’re still there, exactly where I put them in 1998.

The room is white. At the far end there is a wooden painting rack where all my A-level pictures are kept. Everything I need to work—paint, sponges, jars, cans, brushes—is on a large, wooden table just where I left them yesterday.

It’s said that for years Giacometti kept things stationary in his Paris studio—which he called “the prettiest and humblest of all”—because anything moved might hinder his ability to make connections. No one was even allowed to dust. Over time my space has evolved into a studio that represents me. Photographs, postcards, and little drawings hang along one wall: my

ancestors dating back to 1880; shots of my mother and father at different ages; friends and mentors; our old house; and postcards of the paintings I’ve seen and loved. Sometimes I add to these, but not too often.

The first thing I do is take off my street clothes— replacing them with paint-splattered jeans and a similarly covered shirt, plus paint-encrusted tennis shoes. Those early twentieth-century photographs that show a suited—always male—painter sitting at an easel have to be staged. Even in a smock no one could stay that neat.

If my glass palette—white paper is kept under it so mixed colors can be seen against white—wasn’t cleaned yesterday, I scrape it with a new single-edge razor blade. Next, I do a brush check, making sure all paint residue has been removed. If not, I wash the brushes again in a slop sink behind the painting rack. Then I put on blue plastic gloves and start.


opposite : Paint table for mixing and testing colors in Pat

: A corner of Alberto Giacometti’s studio, Paris, c. 1956. Photo by Ernst Scheidegger © 2024 Stiftung Ernst Scheidegger-Archiv, Zurich Lipsky’s Chelsea studio, 2023

The last canvas I worked on is turned facing the wall. I carry the picture over to some old, white gallon cans on the floor, place it on them, and lean it against the wall. Then I step back and look. When I left yesterday it seemed terrific—the fruit of a whole day’s work. Now it’s not holding up. Is it the morning light?

I don’t remember exactly why it looked successful to me before. But for painters this delusional phase is a common occurrence. To be enthusiastic and positive— perhaps in order to paint at all—one needs to get carried away. But a good night’s sleep brings objectivity, and the next day I can actually see the picture. Matisse said, “Enter the painting at its weakest link.” Easy. I look for the color that’s not working and start there.

Oil paint comes in shiny tubes that are squeezed like toothpaste until nothing is left inside. Larger-than-lifesize canvases like mine require lots of tubes. White, which is used for mixing, comes king-size. Because oil paint is inherently viscous, half my time is spent mixing it to a smooth consistency.

left : Henri Matisse, Dance, 1909–10. Oil on canvas, 102 x 154 inches. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

opposite left : Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in Pollock’s Springs studio, 1950. Photo by Hans Namuth. © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona

opposite right : Pat Lipsky in her Hoosick Falls studio, 1971. Photo by Joel Lipsky, courtesy of Pat Lipsky

I squirt some colors onto my palette and start blending them with a palette knife. After I get a good mixture it’s scooped into a pint-size plastic delicatessen container and then mixed with a big wooden spoon—the same type Willem de Kooning showed me in his Springs studio—until the color is the consistency of light cream.

I test this on my canvas, just a tiny dab to see if it works in context. The thing is to get the different colors carrying their own loads. (You don’t want a color overwhelming its neighbors.) If the mixture doesn’t pass muster, I add a little of this, a little of that, then dab it onto the canvas again. Usually there are several attempts before I’m ready to brush the new color on, for which I use a three-inch pig’s-hair brush. The goal is a smooth, uninflected surface that doesn’t show any “hand”—like early Netherlandish painting.

Again, I step back to look. All day—back and forth— the painter’s dance.

Throughout the process there’s always the problem of seeing. It’s tied up with everything you know and all


about taste. What I’ve learned is that no one sees the same. The repository of images in our brains since birth influences our responses to all visual stimuli. (An easy example: if you know Cubism, an African mask will look more familiar to you than if you don’t.)

Different moods influence how we see. Which is accurate—the first, fresh view, or the knowing later one?

Another question: is the eye a muscle that you can develop over time or simply a stable organ that depends on the brain’s interpretation? My eye doctor confirmed the latter, explaining that once a signal reaches the visual cortex it is translated by the brain to create an image.

It’s about seeing and judging (what Kant called “judgments of taste”). Jackson Pollock tried to break out of judging entirely by painting on the floor. He said,

On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.

But then in the end he sought judgment from his wife, Lee Krasner. His question to her wasn’t “is it good?” but “is it a painting?”

ONCE I’VE PUT THE COLORS ON, because it’s abstract I can turn the painting in any direction. Now I go one rotation to the right. Like a kaleidoscope, the picture looks different with each orientation. I never decide which side is the top until the picture is finished. And sometimes even years later I might change it. Since art is all about result, the direction the painting works best in is the right one.

I reach for my Japanese Nichiban tape. It’s translucent and comes in quarter-inch, half-inch, and one-inch rolls. It doesn’t stick to the paint surface the way other tapes do. New York Central was the only store in Manhattan that carried it, but since they closed two years ago I’ve had to import it from Japan. I run tape along one edge. Then, to protect it, I cover the canvas near where I’m going to apply fresh paint with strips of Bounty paper towel.


Again, I drag the paint-laden brush over a section of canvas. Then I reach for my box of skinny Q-tips. They’re not sold in pharmacies but come from a medical-supply factory in Maine. I first saw them in the fifth-floor conservation studio at the Morgan Library. The conservator told me where I could buy them. Each Q-tip has a long, thin wooden handle with a cotton swab on its end. I use this to blur the edge I just painted.

My back is starting to hurt so I lie down on a Styrofoam roller. There’s no clock in the studio, but when it feels like about ten minutes have passed I get up, wash my hands and brushes, and continue.

“Enough on the first picture,” I think. Sometimes I actually put up my right hand like a traffic cop and say out loud, “Enough, Pat, stop.” The hardest thing in abstraction is knowing when to stop. When is it enough, and when is it too much? The kind of questions Aristotle asked about everything: too much, too little, the right amount? Even in ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder complimented artists “who know when to take their hand from the picture.”

If I go too far, there’s always a risk of losing it. In writing you can go back to an earlier draft. Not so in painting, where each layer obliterates the one underneath.

So I turn that canvas to the wall and grab a smaller one. It fits flat on my forty-eight-inch table. To see it, I sit down on the top of a six-foot ladder. The color looks a little tepid, so I climb back down and start mixing Cadmium Red Medium and Titanium White with a touch of Ivory Black. Then I dab that onto the canvas where it might go and climb back up to look down again.

All these supplies—colors, tape, brushes, sponges, tape measures, Q-tips—are essential. I can’t paint if I’m missing any one of them because they’re not interchangeable. If I think a color must be middle red, I need that medium shade of red. If it has to be an off-green, I need Terre Verte. It’s said that Picasso, when he was painting in Montmartre, would use green if he didn’t have red. I can’t do that. For me colors are like people.

I don’t write down the mixtures either, the way that the color guru Josef Albers did (recipes neatly written on the backs of his masonite panels). I tried doing that, but the pieces of paper fell on the floor or got spilled on. Then too, how could I characterize the amount—“a little?” So I remember the mixtures. That’s why I keep working on the same canvases pretty consistently. During a particular time there’s a familiarity I develop with each palette that makes it sort of a color diary.


opposite left : Pat Lipsky’s studio, 1969. André Emmerich Gallery Records and André Emmerich Papers, 1929–2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

opposite right : Hans Hofmann, Summer Summit, 1962. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60¼ inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, gift, Mrs. Harry Elliot Doniger, 1963. © 2024 with permission of the Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

right : Pat Lipsky, Imirem I, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 82 1⁄16 x 104 5⁄16 inches. Gift of the Larry Aldrich Foundation, by exchange. Inv.: 71.20. Whitney Museum of American Art/New York, NY/USA. Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art / Licensed by Scala / Art Resource, NY

Sometimes people bring me technical books about color. I like the ones that are historical: how pigments were developed in a given century, what the meanings of colors were in different cultures. The ones that encourage the use of a color wheel are of less interest.

Paul Klee said, “Color and I are one. I am a painter.” Later Hans Hofmann wrote that successful paintings have their own “color-worlds.” C ézanne’s late landscapes of Mont Sainte-Victoire have that, a blue/green/ochre/ rust quality that transcends words.

Like numbers, colors are infinite. One could spend her whole life breaking down any one color and never come to its end. The names of colors, though, are arbitrary—like the rose they could be called “by any other name” and remain the same. It might take four ups and downs on the ladder finally to get a red that “clicks,” which I then paint on the canvas. That’s all, and the painting is turned face-to-the-wall to look at tomorrow.

Time for lunch. Even with plastic gloves on, my hands are dirty because I keep taking them off. On a bathroom trip I notice paint on my face, mostly blue. I wash it off with soap and water. Lead poisoning, which I once had, can come from skin absorbing oil paint.

In 1998, when I moved in, there was a big view of the Hudson, but over the years construction has whittled it down. Still, on the remaining sliver of river, I might see a boat or two glide by.

I’M FEELING CALMER than when I arrived—more in tune with myself. Through a sort of alchemy that turns base metals into gold, my tension and anxiety have oozed into the pictures. With the exception of noise, not much can bother me now. But there’s a lot of that around, constant drilling, sawing, beeping, hammering. It can start up at any moment.

I keep working until it is about four in the afternoon. The studio is a mess, stuff has fallen to the floor, and there’s a lot of soiled paper towel everywhere. Used skinny Q-tips lie around like wooden pick-up sticks. I wash my brushes again and scrape the glass palette clean for the last time. Then I sit down for a moment with my legs up on the desk. Suddenly it feels claustrophobic in the studio. My two best moments are entering in the morning and leaving in the late afternoon.

This piece first appeared in The New Criterion, December 2023. It was written in 2017 and is adapted from the forthcoming memoir MERCER GREENE WOOSTER: A Life in Art, by Pat Lipsky.

16 INISFREE 1970
72 ½ X 89 INCHES


⅜ X 94½ INCHES
42 WINTER 1971

49½ X 82 ½ INCHES

LAVENDER FIELD 2023 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 56 ½ X 74¾ INCHES Pat Lipsky in her Hoosick Falls studio, 1971. Photo by Joel Lipsky, courtesy of Pat Lipsky

b. New York, NY, 1941


1968 MFA, Hunter College, New York, NY

1963 BFA, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


2023 Pat Lipsky: Color World , Eric Firestone Gallery, New York, NY

2017 Pat Lipsky: Stain Paintings 1968–75 , Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY

2015 Pat Lipsky: Twenty Years, Acme Fine Arts, Boston, MA

2006 Pat Lipsky: Color Paintings , Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY

Les Vitraux , The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York, NY

2005 New Monotypes , Aurobora Press, San Francisco, CA

2004 Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY

2003 Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY

L.I.C.K. Ltd. Fine Art, Long Island City, NY

2002 Les Vitraux, Galerie Piltzer, Barbizon, France

2001 Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY

1999 Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY The Kitchen, New York, NY

1997 Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

1994 Virginia Miller Gallery, Coral Gables, FL

1991 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

1989 Slater-Price Fine Arts, New York, NY

1988 Gloria Luria Gallery, Bay Harbor Island, FL

1987 Promenade Gallery, Hartford, CT

1978 Medici-Berenson Gallery, Bay Harbor Island, FL

Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

1976 Berenson Gallery, Bay Harbor Island, FL

Deitcher O’Reilly Gallery, New York, NY

1975 André Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY

1974 André Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY

Berenson Gallery, Bay Harbor Island, FL

1972 André Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY

1971 Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY London Arts Gallery, Detroit, MI

1970 André Emmerich Gallery, New York, NY

1968 Farleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, NJ


2023 Salon , Eric Firestone Garage, East Hampton, NY (Mostly) Women (Mostly) Abstract, Eric Firestone Gallery, New York, NY, East Hampton, NY

2022 Hanging/Leaning: Women Artists on Long Island: 1960s–80 s, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY

2019 Lyrical Abstraction: Small Scale , Bookstein Projects, New York, NY

2018 The Masters: Art Students League Teachers and their Students , Hirschl & Adler, New York, NY

2018 Compendium, Mark Borghi Fine Art, Bridgehampton, NY

2017 Thirteen Women Who Broke the Rules , Mark Borghi Fine Arts, Art Miami, FL

2016 Mark Borghi Fine Arts, Art Miami, Miami, FL Highlights from the Fairholme Unlimited Foundation , Lowe Art Museum, Miami, FL

2014 Editions/Artists’ Book Fair, New York, NY Cadence , Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY

2012 Hanji Metamorphoses , High Line Gallery, New York, NY

2011 Art in Embassies , OPCW, The Hague, Netherlands Never the Same Twice , DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

2010 Ideal Forms Summer Select, Aurobora Press, San Francisco, CA

2009 The Print Gallery, Annual Exhibition, Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Field, Philadelphia, PA

Expanding Boundaries: Lyrical Abstraction: Selections from the Permanent Collection , Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL

2008 The 183rd Annual Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art , National Academy Museum, New York, NY No Chromophopbia , OK Harris, New York, NY

2007 The Other Half: Women in the Collection , Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL

Paintings of Color, Tribes Gallery, New York, NY

2006 Neoplastic Redux , Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY

United States Embassy, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

2005 Master Prints by 44 Artists, University of Colorado at Denver, CO

American Embassy, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

2004 The Art of the Definite , DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

2003 Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

The Print Fair, Seventh Regiment Armory, New York, NY

2001 American Academy of Arts & Letters Ceremonial Exhibition of Prize Winners, New York, NY

1998 A Year in the Life of Modernism , Tribe Gallery, New York, NY

1997 Arbus to Zynsky, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, FL

Selections from Twentieth Century Modernism , Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY

1996 Small Gems , Tribe Gallery, New York, NY

Affinities , Snyder Fine Arts, New York, NY

Sixteen by One , Gallery One, Toronto, Canada

1995 In Small Dimension , Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

1994 Summer Show, CS Schulte Gallery, Millburn, NJ

Ambassadors’ Choice , State Department, Mexico City, Mexico

1993 Director’s Choice , Virginia Miller Galleries, Miami, FL

Galerie Denise Rene, Paris, France

Some Important Works , CS Schulte Gallery, Maplewood, NJ

1992 Celebrating Formalism , CS Schulte Galleries, Maplewood, NJ

Three from New York , Gloria Luria Gallery, Miami, FL

1991 Ernesto Mayans Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

1990 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

1988 Summer Show, Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York, NY

Interior Visions , Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY

Lillian Heidenberg Gallery, New York, NY

1987 Still Life Painting , University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Vistas , G.W. Einstein Gallery, New York, NY

1986 New Solutions , Gloria Luria Gallery, Bay Harbor Island, FL

Five Galleries at the Aetna Institute, Hartford, CT

1985 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

1983 Women in the Collection, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY

Pat Sutton, Peter Reginato, Jane Love Gallery, Salisbury, CT

1979 Sarah Rentschler Gallery, New York, NY

1978 Sketch-Books and Preparatory Drawings , Miami Dade Jr. College, FL

1977 Invitational Painting Exhibition, Moravian College Art Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

1976 25 American Artists , Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

Invitational Painting Exhibit, Skidmore College Gallery, Saratoga, NY

1974 Opening exhibition , Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Art in Public Places , The Toledo Museum of Art, OH

Faculty Show, San Francisco Art Institute, CA

Ten Years , Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT

Waves , Grand Rapids Art Museum, MI

1973 Images of Movement, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, CT

Waves, Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI

1972 Selections , Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT


1971 Lyrical Abstraction , Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Paintings of the Sixties , Tyler Museum of Art, TX

Projected Art: Artists at Work , Finch Art Museum, New York, NY

1970 Recent Acquisitions of the Michener Collection , University of Texas, Austin

Lyrical Abstraction , Phoenix Art Museum, AZ

Contemporary Art 1970, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS


Lyrical Abstraction, Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT

1969 Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

1967 Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY


American University Museum, Washington, DC

Art in Embassies Program, US Department of State, Washington, DC

Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, TX

Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL

Brooklyn Museum, NY

Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

Collection of the US Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan

Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Hunter College Collection, New York, NY

Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, FL

Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond, WA

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX

Museum of Art & Design, Miami Dade College, FL

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

Paul Mellon Art Center, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT

Portland Museum of Art, OR

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA

Vero Beach Museum of Art, FL

Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY


2018 Marquis Who’s Who, Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award

2008 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

Edwin Palmer Memorial Prize, National Academy Museum

2004 Lincoln Center Prints Program, Silk Screen Poster and Print Edition, Keyboard Variations

2001 Purchase Prize, Hassam Speicher Betts Funds, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

2000 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

1999 Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Individual Support Grant

Jerome Foundation, Dark Love

1998 New York Foundation for the Arts, Dark Love

New York State Council on the Arts, Dark Love

1997 Dictionary of International Biography

1996 New York Foundation, Painting in Ireland, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co Monaghan, Ireland

1993 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

1992 New York Foundation for the Arts, Painting in France

Winsor & Newton Paint Company, Painting in France

1991 Coffin Grant, University of Hartford

1989 Two Thousand Notable American Women


2010– Instructor, Art Students League, New York, NY

1997 Visiting Artist, Chautauqua Institution, NY

1990 Instructor, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY


Associate Professor, University of Hartford Art School, West Hartford, CT

1982–83 Instructor, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY

1980–81 Instructor, State University of New York at Purchase, NY

1974 Visiting Artist, San Francisco Art Institute, CA

1972–73 Instructor, Hunter College, New York, NY

1968–69 Instructor, Farleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, NJ


2021 Guest Speaker, What is Art?, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

2016 Lecturer, Pat Lipsky Discusses her Paintings , Center for Art Law, Brooklyn, NY

2014 Lecturer, Winter Lecture Series, What Happened to the Art World?, Art Students League, New York, NY

2013 Interview, “Native Icon” series, Pat Lipsky: Unrepentant Abstract Painter, (Online: New York Natives)

Interview, Ira Goldberg Interviews Pat Lipsky, (Art Students League of New York: Linea)

Interview, Stephanie Cassidy, Pat Lipsky: The Studio Project, (Art Students League of New York: Linea)

2012 Lecturer, Hanji Seminar, Korean American Association, New York, NY.

Interview, An Interview with Pat Lipsky, (Chintamani Books: Lalitamba #5 )

2009 Lecturer, Spring Lecture Series, The Right Color, New York Studio School

2007 Interview, Brian Sherwin, Art Space Talk: Pat Lipsky, (Online: MyArtsSpace)

2002 Video Feature, Morris Louis , (Robert Pierce Productions)

1999 Interview, Janet Coleman interviews Pat Lipsky and Ted Wiprud , WBAI Radio

1997 Interview, Janet Coleman interviews Pat Lipsky, WBAI Radio

1984 Panelist, The Importance of Taste in Art , moderated by Clement Greenberg, New York University


P. Lipsky, “Alone in a Room: On a day in the artist’s studio,” The New Criterion, December 2023.

P. Lipsky, “A response to Roberta Smith’s ‘The Philip Guston Hoard: A Boon or Overkill?’,” The New Criterion, February 9, 2023.

P. Lipsky, “Falling off: Memories of Clem,” The New Criterion, December, 2022.

P. Lipsky, “A Good Painter . . . for a Woman,” Tablet Magazine, November 15, 2022.

P. Lipsky, “Artistic Freedom: On The Free World by Louis Menand,” The New Criterion, June 19, 2022.

P. Lipsky, “A Painter of the Holocaust for Our Times,” Tablet Magazine , June 2019.

P. Lipsky, “An Answer to Roberta Smith’s ‘Stop Hating Jeff Koons,’” The New Criterion , vol. 37, no. 10, June 2019.

P. Lipsky, “Soutine is the Kafka of Painting,” Tablet Magazine , January 2019.

P. Lipsky, “Three Ways to See a Painting,” The Awl , July 1, 2016.

P. Lipsky, “The Shoes Under the Art World,” The Awl, January 26, 2016.

P. Lipsky, “True Last Judgment,” Public Books , October 28, 2015.

P. Lipsky, “The Shoes Under the Art World,” The Awl, October 12, 2015.

P. Lipsky, “Greenberg Vs Krauss,” Letter to the Editor, Art in America , October 2013.


P. Lipsky, “What Tony, Lee and Clem Told Me,” ARTBEAT, Issue 6, March 2011.

P. Lipsky, “The Last Act,” East Hampton Star, June 10, 2010.


D. Grant, “Amid Frenzied Evacuation from Kabul, US Embassy’s Art is Quietly Shipped Home,” The Art Newspaper, October 5, 2021.

H. Holmes, “American Art was Evacuated During the Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan,” Observer, October 4, 2021.

A. Cohen, “For Artists Grids Inspire Both Order and Rebellion,” Artsy, July 24, 2018.

S. Cascone, “At Art Miami Mark Borghi Celebrates Women Artist Who Broke the Rules” Artnet News , December 8, 2017.

B. Sthele, “Pat Lipsky Stain Paintings—Honoring Women History Month” Luxe Magazine , Spring 2017.

P. Halasz, “Joy with Lipsky at Gerald Peters” From the Mayor’s Doorstep, April 19, 2017.

C. McQuaid, “Artists Committed to technique and Color,” The Boston Globe , April 7, 2016

C. McQuaid, “Critic’s Picks,” The Boston Globe , March 12, 2016. “Contrast and Context,” Art in Print , November–December 2014.

C. Webster, “Because it Matters: Is it Convincing?” New York Natives , November 2013.

D. Kunitz, “Ins and Outs,” Gallery Hops, Modern Painter, September 2012.

T. Armstrong, “A Singular Vision,” The Quantuck Lane Press , 2012.

D. Bradbury, S. Frances, “Light and Sound,” House and Garden , April 2012.

J. Giovanni, “In the Garden,” Architectural Digest , October 2010.

Riley, II, Charles A., Art at Lincoln Center: The Public Art and List Print and Poster Collections , April 2010.

J. Goodrich, “Gallery Beat,” City Arts, NY Press , July 29, 2010. “Highlights” Cornell, Architecture Art Planning, News 06, Spring 2010. “Goings on About Town,” The New Yorker, July 7, 2008.

D. Kunitz, “The Grab-Bag Anthology,” The New York Sun , June 5, 2008.

K. Rosenberg, “Where Have All the Paintings Gone? To the National Academy,” New York Times , May 30, 2008.

D. Fraser Jenkins, “Seeing Color, Lipsky and Piper,” The British Journal of Stained Glass , December 2007.

K. Wilkin, “Pat Lipsky at Elizabeth Harris,” Art in America , March 2007.

D. Cohen, “Afterlife of an Ideal,” The New York Sun , June 29, 2006.

V. Perry, “Abstract Painting, Concepts and Techniques,” Watson Guptill, 2005.

A. Raven, “A Landscape in the Abstract Shapes Its Dwelling,” New York Times , June 16, 2005.

L. Qualls, “Between the Sheets,” Art on Paper, May/June 2005.

S. Westfall, “Review of Exhibitions,” Art in America, February 2005.

K. Johnson, “Art in Review,” New York Times , April 4, 2003.

K. Johnson, “Last Chance,” New York Times , April 11, 2003.

“Goings on About Town,” The New Yorker, April 14, 2003.

K. Wilkin, “Anywhere In Between,” The New Criterion , June 2003.

K. Wilkin, “Formalist Investigations of Medieval Forms: Pat Lipsky and the Spirit of Color,” PAJ Journal, 73, January, 2003.

J. A. Rothschild, “Pat Lipsky’s Recent Abstractions,” Art New England , Feb/March 2002.

M. Zimmerman, “The Stillness of Painting,” PAJ , no. 69, September 2001.

K. Wilkin, “At the Galleries,” Partisan Review, Spring 2001.

E. Snow, NY ARTS , March 2001.

J. Goodrich, “Pat Lipsky,” Review NY, February 15, 2001.

K. Wilkin, “At the Galleries,” Partisan Review, Winter 2000.

A. D’Souza, Review of Exhibitions, Art in America , December 1999.

J. Walentini, “Artist Profile,” Abstract Art online , November 1999.

“Goings on About Town,” The New Yorker, October 4, 1999.

J. Walentini, “Gallery Views/Chelsea,” Abstract Art Online, October 1999.

K. Johnson, “Art Guide,” New York Times , September 17, 1999.

V. Hanks, “Studio Visit with Pat Lipsky,” NY ARTS , September 1999.

K. Wilkin, “Pat Lipsky: The Black Paintings, 1993–1997,” catalogue essay, Lori Bookstein Fine Art Publication, 1997.

P. Halasz, Ph.D., “A Gathering of the Tribes,” From the Mayors Doorstep, No. 6B, 1997.

K. Wilkin, Karen, “At the Galleries,” Partisan Review, Fall 1996.

R. Smith, “Across Cultural Bounds,” New York Times , August 4, 1996.

C. Bernstein, “Pat Lipsky Sutton,” Art Papers, vol. 18, July/August 1994.

C. Damian, Coral Gables, ARTnews , May 1994.

E. Turner, “Diamonds and Other Gems,” Miami Herald , January 14, 1994.

K. Crum, “Pat Lipsky Sutton and the Challenge of Formalism,” Woman’s Art Journal , vol 14, 1993.

P. Rosoff, “Pat Sutton,” Arts Magazine , Summer 1991.

“A Local Accent,” Hartford Courant , September 24, 1991.

“North Shore Sensibility,” Architectural Digest , July 1991.

“Art Scene,” Switch (Japan), November 1989.

M. Berkman, “Family Plot,” New York Magazine , October 16, 1989.

L.J. Ahlander, “Bold New Still Lifes Stun and Fascinate,” Miami News , April 15 1988.

M. Damsker, “Dynamic Duo,” Hartford Courant , May 24, 1987.

M. Damsker, “Works Cap,” Hartford Courant , May 21, 1987.

B. Hanson, “Works of Art School Faculty,” Hartford Courant , November 16, 1986.

B. Hanson, “Five Galleries at Aetna,” Hartford Courant , June 1, 1986. “Theory and Practice,” Art Fundamentals, Octivick, 1983.

“Trends and Testimonies of Contemporary Art,” Accademia, Italia, 1982. N. Frackman, and T. Willis, Arts Magazine , November 1980.

L. Bell, “Reviews,” Arts Magazine , January 1977.

P. Frank, “Reviews,” ARTnews , December 1976.

H. Kramer, “Reviews,” New York Times , October 29, 1976.

G. Glueck, “Art People,” New York Times , September 17, 1976.

J. Siegel, “Wither Painting? Artists Talk on Art,” Women Artists Newsletter, April 1976.

N. Frackman, “Pat Lipsky Sutton,” Arts Magazine , January 1976.

A.S. Wooster, “Reviews,” ARTnews , September 1975.

J. Siegel, “Reviews,” Art in America , September 1975.

M. Hodgson, “Interview with Pat Lipsky,” The Soho Weekly News , July 10, 1975.

K. Whee, “A Personal Definition of Pictorial Space,” Arts Magazine, November 1974.

J. Bell, “Reviews,” Arts Magazine , May 1974.

J. Siegel, “Reviews and Previews,” ARTnews , April 1974.

J.R. Mellow, “Two Shows Brighten Soho Scene,” New York Times , March 2, 1974.

F. Bowling, “A Modest Proposal,” Arts Magazine , February 1974.

A. Smith, “New York Letter,” Art International , The Lugano Review, October 1973.

T. Hess, “Thick Paint and Hofmann,” New York Magazine , December 18, 1972.

“Reviews,” Art in America , October 1972.

J. Siegel, “Reviews and Previews,” ARTnews , October 1972.

D. Willis, “Color Abstraction,” Arts Magazine , January 1971.

“Exhibitions Contemporary Art,” Kansas State University Press, Manhattan, KS, 1970.

“Reviews and Previews,” ARTnews , September 1970.

“Pat Lipsky at Emmerich,” Arts Magazine , Summer 1970.

H. Kramer, “Two Interesting Talents Make Debut,” New York Times , June 13, 1970.

L. Aldrich, “Young Lyrical Painters,” Art in America , 1969.



Thank you to Pat Lipsky for entrusting us with this exhibition. It’s a privilege that she revisited this significant group of works with us, both in showing the significant historic paintings and in producing new Wave paintings for the show. We appreciate her eye, wit, and thoughtfulness in helping us put together the exhibition and catalogue. We are also grateful for her detailed accounts of the period and her studio process, especially what she shared during her public conversation at the gallery and in her beautiful essay that is reproduced in this catalogue. Thank you to Jennifer Samet for her luminous introduction to this catalogue and for her thoughtful interview of Lipsky during the gallery’s discussion event. We’d like to thank James Panero, Executive Editor of The New Criterion, for graciously allowing us to reproduce Lipsky’s essay. Thanks are owed to the artist for sharing her historic images with us. For aid with additional illustrations throughout the catalogue, we thank Lindsey Bright at the Archives of American Art; the Ernst Scheidegger Archive; the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. I would like to personally thank the entire gallery staff for their tireless work in producing this exhibition catalogue. None of this would be possible without them!

Published on the occasion of the exhibition


November 3–December 22, 2023 on view at Eric Firestone Gallery

4 Great Jones Street, New York, NY

ISBN: 979-8-9885944-2-0

Library of Congress Control Number: 2024900795

Cover: Good Firefly, detail, 1969, see page 38

Frontispiece: Pat Lipsky with her work as a student at Hunter College Graduate School, c. 1967. Photo by Tim Ferris

Publication copyright © 2024 Eric Firestone Press

Essay copyright © 2024 Pat Lipsky

All artwork © 2024 Pat Lipsky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Reproduction of contents prohibited

All rights reserved

Published by Eric Firestone Press

4 Newtown Lane East Hampton, NY 11937

Eric Firestone Gallery

40 Great Jones Street New York, NY 10012


4 Newtown Lane East Hampton, NY 11937


Principal: Eric Firestone

Managing Director: Kara Winters

Director: Jennifer Samet

Associate Director: Maddy Henkin

Principal Photography: Sam Glass

Design: Russell Hassell, New York

Printing: Puritan Capital, New Hampshire

Eric Firestone
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