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Colin Hunt - The Land is a Body - Publications - Hirschl & Adler

E-catalogue to the gallery exhibition of the same name, April 18–May 24, 2024.

The Land is a Body, Colin Hunt’s second solo exhibition with Hirschl & Adler Modern, features ten new paintings in egg tempera and a selection of watercolors. The use of egg tempera is atypical in contemporary art, as it was during the 20th century, save for a few outstanding artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Andrew Wyeth, and George Tooker.  Hunt cites his deep love of Sienese Renaissance paintings, in which the natural and spiritual worlds collide, as inspiration for taking on the challenging and unforgiving medium of egg tempera.  The technique aligns perfectly not only with his natural inclination toward drawing, but with his metaphysical vision of painting.  For him, the slow and methodical process of mixing his pigments each day, followed by applying countless strokes of layered, translucent glazes, is the vehicle through which he explores light, and its corollary, time, while embracing that which is transient and mortal. 

In these new paintings, a myriad of tiny rocks, grains of sand, and strings of rockweed, painstakingly rendered, make up a coastal beach flanked by forests piercing a crystalline sky. Elsewhere, palpable mists set the mood—mysterious and foreboding [ethereal?]. The outlines of shapes seem to appear—or disappear—into the landscape. We want to know: where is this? Or more importantly, what is this?  Amid all their painterly specificity, these works depict anywhere and everywhere. Likewise, their “subjects” are someone or anyone, something, or anything. Deftly combining the traditions of portraiture and the American landscape, Hunt veers from the conventions of each. Neither place nor person, these paintings represent what Hunt describes as “a collective intuition intertwining memory, death, and the afterlife”.

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