In the early 20th century, the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) painted his seminal work, The Black Square. This painting launched the abstract art movement in which representational forms from the natural world, such as birds, were deliberately obscured from view.   Strolling through modern art galleries I have tried to imagine how the paintings would change if the “birds” were able to reappear from their captivity. In this series, I utilize photomontage to explore the narrow boundary where reality and imagination intersect and birds can escape the rigid confines of abstract painting.

I have always enjoyed bird photography. Through the years I have taken thousands of avian photographs. Most of the birds in this series, with a few noted exceptions, originated from my own collection where, for years, they have been patiently waiting to join a photography project like this one.  
Note: All painting are Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons unless otherwise noted.
These photographs will be shown in the Griffin Museum of Photography Atelier 37 exhibit (2023)​​​​​​​

Grackle cracking the "Black Square" painting by Kazimir Malevich (1915)

White Ibis entangled in "Abstract Figure" painting by Wood Gaylor (1915)

Cardinals stuck in 2-dimensions in"Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow" painting by Piet Mondrian (1930)

Keel Billed Toucan( license from Shutterstock) navigating “Rotating Sun with Arrow” painting by Paul Klee (1919), CC BY-SA 4.0 <>,via Wikimedia Commons

Mallard Duck (license from Shutterstock) disguised in "Oriental "painting by Wassily Kandinsky (1909)

Painted Bunting (Shutterstock)  peeking through "Simultaneous Windows on the City "painting by Robert Delaunay (1912)

Blue Birds fold and leave" Ace of Clubs and Four of Diamonds "painting by Juan Gris (1915)15

Barred Owl proofreading "Le Livre" painting by Juan Gris (1913)

Snow Goose (license from Shutterstock) bidding “Good Afternoon Mrs. Lincoln” painting by Arshile Gorky (1944)

Various waterfowl escaping after “One Year in Milkweed” painting by Arshile Gorky (1944)

You may also like

Back to Top