The Animal Kingdom In Your Art Collection!

May 21, 2020

From the first prehistoric drawings in Altamira cave to the present day, artists were always fascinated by animals, whether because of their mythical or their social role. Throughout the centuries the shapes of their bodies, their postures, or their behavior were explored with an ultimate agenda to better understand their existence and hopefully learn from animals.

In the contemporary moment colored by constant exploitation, industrial farming, and animal extinction, we need to rethink our relationship with wildlife and enhance the way we think about how we care for animals and the environment.

To celebrate the wonderful creatures that surround us, we selected ten exceptional artworks depicting animals which you add to your art collection as you read the text below.

Featured image: Pierre Yermia - Big feline, 2010 - 2015. All images courtesy of their respective galleries.

Barry Flanagan - Horse on Anvil

The first artwork on our list was made by the established Welsh sculptor Barry Flanagan known for his subtle, yet expressive body of work consisting of animals, fantastic creatures, and anthropomorphic figures. Similarly to Alberto Giacometti, he is focused on elongated form, but with a humorous twist. Flanagan’s subversive works are especially interesting if observed chronologically as made at the same time as the reduced Minimalist forms.

Horse on Anvil is a beautiful and rather graceful representation of this animal, a sculpture made of bronze by the artist in 2001.

Buy the work here.

Hama Woods - Paint It Black

Hama Woods is a Norwegian stencil artist who gained prominence for her aesthetic deeply inspired by nature. By exploring the visual possibilities to underline the importance of nature, she creates works that tackle the effects of greed and human consumption on our environment. The hand-cut, multi-layered stencils Woods produces are applied by spray paint in public and private spaces in and around Norway and they aim to empower the observer to rethink the current state of affairs concerning plants and animals.

Paint It Black depicts the interplay of two birds and was made by Woods in 2019.

Buy the work here.

Paola Pivi - Time for homework

Coming up is an artwork made by the Italian artist Paola Pivi who explores the animal world most often through her work. By combining the familiar and the alien, and appropriating the characteristics of animals, she creates humorous, yet environmentally charged multimedia works to tackle our lack of understanding of interspecies communication.

Time for homework is a monochrome sculpture of a creature similar to bear made by the artist in 2019.

Buy the work here.

Nychos - Wolfmother

The artistic practice of Austrian graffiti artist Nychos is under the profound influence of his childhood memories, comics and cartoons, on one side, and on the other, the hunting tradition of his family. At the center of his macabre aesthetic is the theme of dissection presented in a humorous, yet arresting manner.

The work Wolfmother is a dissected version of the mythic representation of Romulus and Remus feeding off the wolfmother.

Buy the work here.

Pierre Yermia - Big feline

Pierre Yermia is a French sculptor active since the early 1990s who has been continually exploring the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic forms through his practice by focusing on elongated posture reminiscent of Giacometti and Flanagan. By examining the tension between full and empty, convex and concave, the artist developed exceptional sculptural language characterized by the emphasis on the fragility of the figure’s slender legs and the volume of its torso.

Big feline is a figurine of a black panther made by the artist between 2010 and 2015.

Buy the work here.

Christy Langer - Sebastian

The practice of Canadian artist Christy Langer is inspired by animals, the way we perceive them, and how we communicate with them. To be more precise, she depicts various animal guises to unravel the ritualistic and mythical notion of animals, but also to speak of their survival in an increasingly exploitative world.

Although Langer most often expresses herself through sculpture and installation, she also works with painting, and this particular artwork called Sebastian, depicting a crane on a branch is a fine example of her style.

Buy the work here.

Gina Phillips - Give a Dog a Bone (Yellow Catahoula-hound)

The eight artwork on our list is by the mixed media artist Gina Phillips, who gained prominence for her captivating figurative imagery inspired by the American countryside and magical realism. Throughout the years, she has developed a specific technique of painting in acrylic paint on canvas or muslin, and part of her process is a communal gathering of her fabrics that are donated by the neighbors, friends, and family.

Give a Dog a Bone (Yellow Catahoula-hound) is a simplistic, yet charming portrait of the famous American dog breed.

Buy the work here.

Nana Mandl - Many fish in the sea

Nana Mandl is an Austrian early career emerging artist who explores the relationship of different elements in her densely arranged installations. By combining collage, drawing, and painting, Mandl creates hybrid formations aimed to explore the notion of an image in a digital era.

Many fish in the sea is a print made by the artist in 2019.

Buy the work here.

Fernando Botero - The Cat

This artwork was produced by Fernando Botero, an established Colombian figurative artist and sculptor, best known for his own style called Boterismo. The most recognized and quoted living artist from Latin America, as Botero is often referred to, received national critical attention for his depictions of large and voluminous figures.

This particular work simply titled The Cat was made by the artist in 1969.

Buy the work here.

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Paola Pivi

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