Hunt Slonem & DTR Modern Make Magic at 2022 Venice Biennale

Hunt Slonem and Ted Vasilev with Slonem's. bunny paintings
Hunt Slonem and Ted Vassilev with Slonem’s bunny paintings
Courtesy DTR Modern Galleries

Premier Palm Beach  and NYC art gallery DTR Modern has planted its flag in one of Europe’s most fabulous and captivating cities to participate in the 2022 Venice Biennale, representing painter Hunt Slonem in the Personal Structures contemporary exhibition, organized by the European Cultural Centre (ECC) and running through November 27 at the ECC Pavilion.

Since 2011, the Personal Structures exhibition features and combines different expressions from artists that break away from any ideological, political and geographical barriers — all within the same space. This year’s edition focuses on a reflections theme, playing on the dual meaning of a literal reflection (like one would find in a mirror), and the action of thinking about and pondering a specific subject. The show hopes the aftermath of those reflections will incite the potential of imagining a better future.

Hunt Slonem's work on view at the Venice Biennale
Hunt Slonem’s work on view at the Venice BiennaleDTR Modern

Along with Slonem’s whimsical and expressive paintings, which have put his name on the lips and minds of art collectors and aficionados the world over, the exhibition features a wide selection of work from internationally-renowned and emerging artists, photographers, and sculptors as well as worldwide academic institutions. These convene in the city of Venice to express from different perspectives their views on the main theme of the exhibition: the concept of reflections. Distributed across the three ECC venues, galleries like DTR Modern offer curated exhibitions, showcasing pieces from artists they represent.

“The main show in the Biennale, titled The Milk of Dreams poses key questions that artists are dialoguing; ‘How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human?’ With Surrealism in the air, there are many representations of hybrid animal figures, mythical forms, humanoids, and avatars,” explains DTR Modern owner Ted Vassilev, who has written extensively on fine art and the art market.

“…Hunt Slonem’s bunny figures in the ECC’s curated show fit seamlessly into the conversations with the main show,” he continues, pointing out, “Slonem’s works convey a sense of escapism down the rabbit hole on one hand, and triumph on the other with explorations in color and simplicity of the bunny line drawings.”

While he’s known for painting several muses from the animal kingdom, including birds and butterflies, Slonem is probably most recognized for his rabbit paintings — the artist was born under the sign of the rabbit in the Chinese calendar, and says he feels a deep connection to furry mammal.

Hunt Slonem and his Bunny Wall
Hunt Slonem and his Bunny WallBrandon Schulman Photography

“It’s really resonated in my life in all kinds of new forms of my work that are coming through,” Slonem told Dan’s Papers Palm Beach in January, noting that the bunny is a symbol of luck, fertility and animal rights. “It’s just a profound image that’s not taken as seriously as it could be.”

Clearly the work is getting a serious look at the Venice Biennale, which Vassilev calls “one of the most prestigious art exhibitions in the world with over 120 years of history and about half a million visitors in most recent years,” also sharing its nickname, “the Olympics of the Art World.”

Now is a great time to plan a trip to Italy and attend the Venice Biennale, but Slonem’s work can also be found at DTR Moderns galleries in Palm Beach (408 Hibiscus Avenue, 561-366-9387), New York City (458 West Broadway, 212-677-2802), Nantucket (38 Centre Street, 508-901-5730) and Boston (167 Newbury Street, 617-424-9700).

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