The magical atmosphere of summer and all its facets has been inspiring artists for centuries. The brilliant sun, powerful waves, warm sunlight, and long, leisurely days are just some of the motifs artists have been capturing.
To greet the beginning of summer, we bring you a selection of summer art pieces that evoke the carefree nature of the season.
Featured image: Alex Katz - Summer Flowers (detail), 2018. All images courtesy of their respective galleries.
Considered to be the last graphic artist who actually makes his works by hand, Razzia creates posters that evoke Art Deco, repeating the process of his predecessors from the golden age of this kind of advertising. Throughout his career, Razzia has created an impressive series of works for luxury brand powerhouse, Louis Vuitton.
Created using an ink sublimation technique, Deauville from 1983 was made when the artist researching ideas for an image for the city, which was hosting the annual American Film Festival.
An American sculptor, painter, and one of the first installation artists, Paul Thek combined elements of art history, existential anxiety, and contemporary culture into art that posed both formal and conceptual questions. He is best known for his installation piece The Tomb - Death of a Hippie, a large pink ziggurat containing a body cast of the artist attired in pink clothes and shoes.
Untitled (beach with figures) from 1986 is a watercolor depicting a beach scene in the dusk.
An American painter and printmaker, Alex Katz is celebrated for his highly stylized visual vocabulary that was developed as a reaction to the ideas of Abstract Expressionism that were blossoming in the United States during the 1950s. Katz first started painting flowers in the early 1960s, often during summer residencies in Maine. Finding inspiration in all types of flowers, he transformed wind-blown tiger lilies, marigolds, roses, and petunias into iconic works of Pop art.
A vibrant and alive rendition, Summer Flowers from 2018 features stems frowing in every direction and petals cascading through the air.
An Austrian painter, sculptor and printmaker, Kiki Kogelnik was involved in the Pop Art movement during the early 1960s. While drawing her palette and materials from Pop art, she did not celebrate advertising or mass produced products, instead she explored space travel, warfare, and robotics as motifs for her imaginative paintings and sculptures.
Bathing in Green from 1978 is an elegant and jarring portrayal of a female swimmer, drying the back of her neck with her beach towel while she saunters toward the viewer.
A Brazilian artist, Tiago Carneiro da Cunha explores dark and unsettling subject through small, imperfectly finished ceramic figurative sculptures. His works satirize social issues including sex, money, power, and violence.
In the work Por do Sol e Presunto Recheado from 2018, the artist presents his recurring figure of the Mudman, a primal character whose form appears subsumed in heavy drips.
An artist working fluidly between painting, collages, digital drawing and animation, Brian Alfred depicts subject matters that range from architecture and technology to modern idealism and romantic heroism. Working from photographs, he digitally reduces images to their essential forms and then turns them into flattened, bold color fields that retain a handmade feel.
Created in 2018, Summer Sky depicts a sunset over a forest lake.
Considered by many to be Britain's best living Impressionist, Michael Strang is known for a body of work that includes landscapes, seascapes, floral arrangements, flowering fields, hedgerows, still-life and portraits.
Summer Symphony Porth Joke Cornwall from 2013 depicts a sea view at Porth Joke, Cornwall with a vibrant field of poppies. Strang's unique and instantly recognisable textured brush technique is evident in this work.
A Colombian artist, Álvaro Barrios is known for an iconic comic book style burgeoned from an early passion for drawing, inspired by the comics he read as a child. “I was especially interested in the sense of nostalgia that comics transmitted in me,” he once explained.
Two Mysterious Islands from 2018 is executed in his distinct comic style, imbued with vivid colors.
A French photographer thrilled by urban spaces, Anne Valverde usually creates black and white photographs where she colors only certain details. Each of her photographs serves as an imaginative springboard, portable window with views on cities, allowing the viewers to instantly find themselves in all of those places.
A color photograph, Pool Night from 2019 depicts a pool view with a neon sign that spells "Dream on." Her Dream on project series was launched in 2010 with one aim - to create "open windows" and reveal the nature and all it can offer us.
An American painter, advocate for arts and educator, Doria Higgins has also been an active art collector and exhibition curator, producing and directed many video projects on a variety of art subjects.
The work Untitled (two men sunbathing Provincetown) depicts a beach scene with two figures, executed in her distinct vivid style.