A Neo-Expressionist, Hunt Slonem combines Abstract Expressionist techniques with mysticism and animal subjects of Islam and Mexico and is best known for his paintings of tropical birds, based on a personal aviary in which he keeps about 100 live birds of various species.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, Birds introduces us to the world of Hunt Slonem. Influenced by the exotic, lush landscapes of his childhood and youth in Hawaii and Nicaragua, Slonem paints richly colored, impressionistic visions that are celebrated worldwide―and particularly sought-after are his paintings of birds. Now for the first time, Slonem's bird paintings are collected into a single volume, published in a lavish hardcover edition, as a follow-up to the exquisite Bunnies. In Birds, the Louisiana-born artist pays homage to these remarkable creatures through hundreds of engaging works. Dramatic and vivid, Slonem's avian subjects seem unconfined to a flat surface, as the paintings brim with texture and movement. At the same time, the painter's unique “cross-hatching” technique unmistakably evokes the bars of a birdcage. The compelling nature of these paintings lies in the tension between the birds' ability to soar and their often captive state (though Slonem's own birds are often spotted flying around his studio). Sure to please bird-lovers and fine-art aficionados alike, this is an impressively luxe hardcover volume that features metallic ink and silver-gilded edges, a ribbon marker, and an acetate jacket.