Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Summer 26323


Pat Steir (Newark, New Jersey, 4/10/1940 - )



Creation Date



late 20th century


23 1/4 x 23 x 1 in. (59.06 x 58.42 x 2.54 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

oil on canvas

Credit Line

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection


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Accession Number

In 1988, Pat Steir, whose painting practice has roots in conceptual art, developed her pour technique, combining a system with a sensitivity to the medium itself. According to Steir, the paint “changes as it pours down. Gravity becomes my collaborator. The way the thing works is always in part a surprise.” Streaks of light colored paint on the surface of Summer simultaneously evoke streams of a gentle rain as well as a flowering field covered with riots of blossoms of peach, red, and blue. Evoking a sense of infinite duration, the painted surface wraps around the stretcher bars, transforming the painting from image into object, from illusion into environment. Steir’s strong connection with the Vogels is reflected in their prodigious acquisition of her work, including this canvas, which hung prominently for many years in their apartment. “Herb was so special in the studio with me,” recalls Steir. “You know he could throw away things, put them next to each other, and suddenly he changed them into a masterpiece almost. He had that incredible quality to see art.”

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