To refer to Hunt Slonem as a “rara avis” is just about perfect. He is a rare chap with a collection of historic buildings, and a studio occupied by himself and 60 birds. Grids and lines and squares fill Hunt’s world, surrounded as he is by cages and walls and windows. His work is not unlike an interior Agnes Martin inside a building; no unambiguous or stark outside desert, but wet paint on wet paint inspired by being private and inside one’s own home.
Reiteration runs like a mantra through Hunt’s work. As in a prayer, the same words are uttered, but every time they are said the intention and meter are slightly different. As images, rabbits seem obvious as subject matter as we know them to multiply. A group of bunnies, known as a “fluffle,” find their way on to canvas. Quick and gestural, his rabbits are a sly nod to nature’s own direction to reproduce. Hunt’s birds are a more personal match for the act of repetition. He says they are obsessive like he is, and are celestial messengers in almost every faith. Birds chatter away, half-hidden but everywhere. Their obsession implying intention, just as the painter makes them real with color, and oil, and incised lines.
Slonem is renowned for his distinct neo-expressionistic style, and his desire is that people have their own experiences with his work. The mechanism of painting, and the item that is a painting, is the magic to Hunt.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Fundació Joan Miró, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and Istanbul Museum of Modern Art are among the prestigious museums worldwide that have shown Hunt Slonem’s work. Whether you choose one unique piece, a grouping, or a “fluffle” of works to hang salon-style, we are honored to present this curated selection of works for you to add to your collection!
View the works in the exhibition here.