Hudson River Museum

Yonkers, New York


Photo: Quesada/Burke



Flights of Fancy: Paintings by Hunt Slonem

July 16 - September 19, 1999


Hunt Slonem, Hyacinths, 1999, oil on canvas, 74 x 82 inches, collection of the artist


The opulent paintings of Hunt Slonem transform the Museum into a tropical aviary. Vivid colors, lush foliage and exotic birds dance across his giant canvases. In some paintings, the artist has etched abstract grid patterns, suggesting cages, through the thick layers of paint. In fact, the birds and cages all were painted from life, as Slonem shares an enormous studio with hundreds of rare birds, including toucans. macaws, cockatoos, lories, African greys, and hornbills.

One entire wall of the gallery is covered with thousands of brilliant feathers, collected by Slonem during his daily tending to his birds. (These feathers were shed naturally, or molted, by the birds.) The artist has carefully stuck feathers of all shapes and sizes into the wall to create a three-dimensional sculpture of luxuriant color, texture and shadow.

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