Bunnies and Dead Presidents on Parade at The Russell Collection

Mongolian. All images by Hunt Slonem, courtesy The Russell Collection.

I visited The Russell Collection last weekend at its new home in the Whit Hanks center on West 6th Street to check on their ongoing show of Hunt Slonem. The gallery’s new digs are lovely — wide open spaces with high ceilings, white walls, and concrete floors. Modern, but not too industrial. Slonem’s colorful paintings covering every wall warm it right up.

The Russel Collection is known for brining in big-name artists to Austin. I’ve seen pieces by Degas, Cassatt, Pissarro, and the like there. I confess that I have been going to their opening receptions for years because in addition to damn fine art, they trot out the best h’ors d’ouvres and throw the best parties.

Lincoln on Orange

I wasn’t familiar with Hunt Slonem prior to this show, but I find that I like his work. The riot of color I encountered on that rainy Friday gave me a mental lift, and the bunnies and parrots everywhere around me lent a bit of humor to the rarefied atmosphere of the gallery. These bunnies aren’t cute, mind you — they’re serious bunny business, peeking out from their elaborately carved gold frames.

orange Wing

Slonem’s work can be found in some major American museums, including the Guggenheim, the Met, and the Whitney in New York, according to the Russell Collection. I’m impressed.

The World of Hunt Slonem will be be on view through September 30.

Homepage image is Slonem’s Finches.

Published by Rebecca Johnson

Writer and editor covering arts and culture in Austin, Texas and beyond.

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