Stewart & Stewart

Hunt Slonem: Bunnies, Birds & Butterflies

Hunt Slonem: Bunnies, Birds & Butterflies

Hunt Slonem

This online viewing room titled Hunt Slonem: Bunnies, Birds & Butterflies includes examples from over eighty editioned prints and monoprints the artist created from 1994 to 2016, either in residence at the Stewart & Stewart workshop in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan or, in later years, at Slonem’s New York City studios. The screenprint edition titled Lucky Charm 3 (2013) was commissioned by the Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan. Just a few of these screeenprints, hand painted monoprints and pigment prints are show in this online viewing room. Slonem’s complete inventory of fine art prints can be viewed at StewartStewart.com.

Slonem painted rabbits before he settled on birds as a primary subject. In 1997, Slonem began to create screenprints of bunnies and then pigment prints. “The initial development and completion of a characteristic Slonem bunny picture is really quite basic, and is the secret to their spontaneity and ultimate success...” (Helander 2014)

Slonem is most recognized for his bird paintings. After often arranging his birds in multiples, it seemed an intentional next step to start creating multiples in screenprints with the collaborative guidance of master printer Norm Stewart. It was upon the suggestion of artist Janet Fish that Slonem first came to the Stewart & Stewart workshop in 1994 to create Lories, Toucans and Black and White Toucans, all screenprints.

As for the Lepidoptera, butterflies and Luna moths, Slonem works with these culturally popular visual motifs in repetition. “They are rarely in sharp focus; their shapes are somewhat misted and often, repeated so as to create a pattern which itself must be uncoded. Again, this all happens in only a few seconds, before the creatures can be given individuation and appreciated as belonging to a distinct species.” (Geldzahler 1993)


Helander, Bruce. 2014. Bunnies. New York/London: Glitterati.
Geldzahler, Henry. 1993. Hunt Slonem. New York: Kunst Editions/Jano Group.

Image Credit:

Lucky Charm (detail), screenprint, © Hunt Slonem 1997, Photo © StewartStewart.com 1997

But in all Slonem’s work, after one has studied it for a time, there is a seriousness about painting. The various devices that divide space, render it shallow, thus keeping the work coherent in its own terms, add up to a consistant [sic] investigation of post-cubist abstraction. By varying the moods and techniques of his work in fresh and exciting ways, Hunt Slonem creates beautiful work that continually gives joy and surprise. (Geldzahler 1993) Repetition is usually thought to be boring and simplistic —- however compulsive —- but, Slonem uses it to maximize intensity. He makes it seem spontaneous. His repetition of the animal form is not mechanical and systematic but quirky and complicating, and builds momentum to synergistic effect. (Kuspit 2002)

Geldzahler, Henry. 1993. Hunt Slonem. New York: Kunst Editions/Jano Group. Kuspit, Donald B. 2002. Hunt Slonem - An Art Rich and Strange. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Hunt Slonem

Lucky Charm

1997

sheet: 41" x 28.5"

3-color screenprint

© Hunt Slonem 1997, Photo © StewartStewart.com 1997

ed: 25

$2000.

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Hunt Slonem

Bird Wing-E

2013

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

monoprint/hand painted archival pigment print with Diamond Dust

© Hunt Slonem 2013, Photo © StewartStewart.com 2013

unique

$3500.

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Hunt Slonem. Photo courtesy of the Hunt Slonem Studio

Hunt Slonem

Fratillery-A

2012

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

monoprint/hand painted archival pigment print

© Hunt Slonem 2012, Photo © StewartStewart.com 2012

unique

$2500.

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Hunt Slonem

Lucky Charm 2 B/W

1997

sheet: 41" x 28.5"

1-color screenprint

© Hunt Slonem 1997, Photo © StewartStewart.com 1997

ed: 10

$2500. (rare)

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Hunt Slonem at Stewart & Stewart. Photo © StewartStewart.com 1994

Hunt Slonem

Suite Butterflies 1

1999

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

6-color screenprint

© Hunt Slonem 1999, Photo © StewartStewart.com 1999

ed: 29

$1800.

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Hunt Slonem

Finches Black

2000

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

8-color screenprint

© Hunt Slonem 2000 Photo © StewartStewart.com 2000

ed: 31

$1200.

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Hunt Slonem at Stewart & Stewart. Photo © StewartStewart.com 1996

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Finches Red

Hunt Slonem

2000

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

7-color screenprint

© Hunt Slonem 2000, Photo © StewartStewart.com 2000

ed: 32

$1200.

Hunt Slonem

Abrahams Peace Plan-2

2013

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

archival pigment print/with Diamond Dust

© Hunt Slonem 2013, Photo © StewartStewart.com 2013

ed: 4

$2000. (rare)

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Hunt Slonem

2001

sheet: 28.5" x 41"

8-color screenprint

© Hunt Slonem 2001, Photo © StewartStewart.com 2001

ed: 26

$1200.

Hunt Slonem

Lucky Charm 4

2016

sheet: 30” x 22"

archival pigment print

© Hunt Slonem 2016, Photo © StewartStewart.com 2016

ed: 10

$1500. (rare)

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Artist and collector Hunt Slonem is best known for huge Neo-Expressionist oil paintings of tropical birds based on his personal aviary. His lavishly colored canvases are populated with rows of birds rendered with thick brushstrokes. “I was influenced by Warhol's repetition of soup cans and Marilyn,” Slonem says. “But I'm more interested in doing it in the sense of prayer, with repetition... It's really a form of worship.” According to The New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, “This witty Formalist strategy meshes the creatures into the picture plane and sometimes nearly obliterates them as images, but it also suspends and shrouds them in a dim, atmospheric light that is quite beautiful.” Besides the birds, Slonem also paints repetitions of flowers, bunnies, butterflies, as well as portraits, particularly of Abraham Lincoln.

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