The Worlds of Hunt Slonem

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Profuse. Profound. Transcendent. Jubilant. In his life as in his art, Hunt Slonem is all of these things and more. He is an inveterate collector of the inanimate (chandeliers, furniture, and candlesticks) and animate (a menagerie of exotic birds), and his art, too, is accumulative; a governing principle of his painting and sculpture is multiplicity of subject and of pattern. In The Worlds of Hunt Slonem , Dominique Nahas delves deep beneath the decorative surface of Slonems work to reveal the fascinating sources of and influences on his art. The chapter Set Out on a Journey examines the places in which he lived and worked in his youth, from his boyhood in Hawaii to a formative sojourn in Nicaragua as a teenager to his training at Tulane University, and how his early experiences impacted his development as an artist. Multiplicity presents a visual lexicon of the innumerable creatures he has celebrated over and over in his paintings, starting with his early Broadway Bug Series (c. 1974), and including rabbits, ocelots, monkeys, butterflies, moths, frogs, turtles, fish and insects, as well as all manner of birds: cockatoos, toucans, Cordon Bleu finches, macaws, magpies, mynahs, eagles, and rhinoceros hornbills. In Let There Be Light, Nahas shows how Slonem works with and invokes light in his art, using techniques that allow light to refract, multiply and radiate, exhilarating the senses. The Grid: Structure as Image focuses on his painting techniques and his use of grids, repetitive patterning, and multiples as an organizing principle of expressivity. The last chapter, Saints, Boddhisatvas and the Celebrated, is devoted to his portraits, including icons of the church (St. Francis), Hollywood (Valentino, Bette Davis, et al.) and Washington (Abraham Lincoln). This major retrospective ends with a biographical timeline, an extensive listing of Slonems solo exhibitions and works held in public collections, and a bibliography.