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A Naturalist and an Artist

John James Audubon & Kevin Sloan: An avian exploration, then and now This exhibition casts a new light on the work of famed ornithologist and artist John James Audubon (1785-1851) by pairing his prints with contemporary avian paintings by Denver artist Kevin Sloan.

March 7, 2015 - May 31, 2015

John James Audubon painted and cataloged the birds of North America. In 1821, Audubon moved to New Orleans and spent several years shooting and painting birds along the Mississippi. Audubon received little attention of his paintings in America and moved to England in 1826, where he was soon met with success. In Britain he raised enough money to publish Birds of America, from which there are many large-scale prints now in the FAC’s permanent collection. This is the first time these magnificent prints have been exhibited in many years.

Kevin Sloan is a contemporary painter who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Sloan’s exquisitely painted works remain faithful to the tradition of precise depiction of birds while maintaining a contemporary quality that is uniquely his own. He invests in his paintings an evident affection for the subjects and their habitats, as well as a contemporary environmental narrative – both of which were absent from Audubon’s analytical depictions. Sloan is among the finest American realist painters working today, and his art has received numerous accolades and attention from significant galleries.

This exhibition is currently featured in the FAC’s beautiful second floor Special Exhibition space. Occupying two adjacent galleries, one with Audubon’s prints from the FAC collection and the other with Sloan’s paintings. The two distinct galleries allow for a visual dialogue in which each artist’s work is complementary to the other, yet inhabits its own world – Audubon in the 19th Century and Sloan in the 21st. Additionally, Sloan worked with FAC Museum Director and Chief Curator to select Audubon prints for the exhibition. Sloan then composed a new painting in direct response to one of the Audubon selections.

Curated by Executive Museum Director and Chief Curator, Blake Milteer, in collaboration with artist, Kevin Sloan