Oil on canvas, 1989, 72 x 84 in., signed, titled and dated by the artist on the reverse.
In this large painting Slonem blocks out his foundation colors, then layers on the white and grey forms, the hatching, the light-hued birds and finally the dark-hued birds in a hyperactive application of brush strokes driven by complex formal design.
The flight of birds and the grid of hatch marks spring from the huge aviary occupying one end of the artist's loft. "The hatch marks started around 1988," he explains, "and they coincided with my use of old flea-market frames. I was so excited about the frames that I wanted to fill them quickly, and I started painting wet into wet. I'd been living with this 40-foot bird cage, but I'd never literally painted it. I turned around and did this abstract grid painting. My whole technique changed at that point." Slonem, quoted in Vincent Katz, "Animal, vegetable, mystical -- painter Hunt Slonem," Art in America, October, 1998.