(Photo courtesy LSU Museum of Art)

Hunt Slonem: Antebellum Pop! exhibit combines images and interiors

LSU Museum of Art, through August 5

Hunt Slonem’s signature style is a study in contradictions. Ornate antiques combined with walls bathed in shocking colors. Playful pop art balanced by opulent textiles. But never has a major museum exhibition paired the artist’s pop canvases with the expressive interior atmosphere of his two Louisiana plantation homes. Never, that is, until the LSU Museum of Art partnered with Slonem to bring his unique world to its gallery walls and floors.

“This project has been an idea in Slonem’s mind for a while and is truly inspired by how he lives here in Louisiana,” says LSU Museum of Art executive director Daniel Stetson.

Guest curator Sarah Clunis, an assistant professor of art history at Xavier University of Louisiana, worked with Slonem to bring his vision to life. The show features 74 of the artist’s paintings, dating back to the 1980s, along with antique furniture pieces upholstered in his distinctive fabrics and other furnishings brought in from the famed M.S. Rau Antiques on New Orleans’ Royal Street. Five galleries represent rooms in an antebellum home, complete with chandeliers and 19th-century portraits alongside Slonem’s contemporary works. Three walls are covered in wallpaper that bears Slonem’s creations.

A gallery talk with Clunis will take place Sunday, June 5, and a family art class dubbed “Pop Art: Animals Everywhere” is set for Wednesday, June 18.

“You will likely never see another exhibition like this one,” says Stetson. “Not everyone will have the opportunity to visit Slonem’s plantation homes, but this is an opportunity like no other to experience that environment.”