Hudson River Museum
Yonkers, New York
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
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