Hunt Slonem – Abraham Lincoln
Dimensions: 30.5 x 25.25″
Media: oil on wood
Hunt Slonem’s Abraham Lincoln is an iconic painting within this extraordinary artist’s far-reaching visual vocabulary. Lincoln is a subject of great admiration for Slonem, as he represents the best of humanity. Slonem sees Lincoln as the epitome of the American Dream. Lincoln persevered in the face of defeats and challenges, yet he rose to be not only President of the United States but one of the greatest world leaders of all time. He followed his vision and thereby changed the world for the better by making decisions based on fairness and equity for all human beings.
-Tonya Turner Carroll
Hunt Slonem is an internationally recognized American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. Hunt Slonem’s works like Abraham Lincoln has been exhibited in more than 350 galleries and museums worldwide and is represented in over 100 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City. He regularly exhibits at both public and private venues around the world and has received numerous honors and awards, including a MacDowell Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts grant. He lives in New York City and Louisiana, where he has notably restored two famous plantations to their original states.
Inspired by nature and his sixty pet birds, Hunt Slonem is best known for his distinct Neo-Expressionist oil paintings of bunnies, butterflies, and the tropical birds in his aviary. His lavishly colored canvases are populated with 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 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.” Hunt Slonem tends to embrace the ephemeral beauty of nature, a characteristic that brings a nurturing, spiritual effect to his creations.
Hunt Slonem has always had a secure connection to the subjects he represents in his work. As a child, Slonem first felt a connection to birds while living in Hawaii, which deepened further during his time in Central America, where he was inspired by the people’s devotion and spiritual fervor. The fascination continued into adulthood; not only does he admire the colorful animals from afar, but he also collects the exotic birds, which reside with him in his New York studio. The lush studio is a sanctuary for the animals and the artist. Slonem’s constant companions flitter and chat around him all day, helping him to capture his immediate surroundings with rhythm and style. The poet and art critic John Ashbery describes Slonem’s depiction of these ephemeral creatures as “dazzling explosions of the variable life around us that need only to be looked at in order to spring into being.” Slonem creates beautiful, surprising scenes that offer a calming joy to those who encounter them.
Slonem’s works can be found in the permanent collections of 250 museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Whitney, the Miro Foundation and the New Orleans Museum of Art.