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 originated from my own collection where, for years, they have been patiently waiting to join a photography project like this one.  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keel Billed Toucan navigating “Rotating Sun with Arrow” painting by Paul Klee 

House Finch strutting in Mouvement héroïqu painting by Theo Van Doesburg (1916)

King Vulture sporting a Coogibrand in TRYING_THE LIGHT by Jayson Musson (1977)
Musson's composition composed from stitched sweaters

King Vulture(Shutterstock) is wearing his native garb without adornment

Titmice pursuing new digs in LANDSCAPE painting by Clara Vogedes (1970) 

Wood Duck Camouflaged in LANDSCAPE by Man Ray (1913)

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

In there Flight from Abstraction a few birds flew off course and landed in the school of Trompe L'oeil (fool the eye) instead

Great Blue Heron breaking out of Polaroid print in OLD TIME LETTER RACK  Trompe L'oel painting by John Fredrick Peto (1894)

The original THE GOLDFINCH painted by Carel Fabritius (1654)

Goldfinch visiting THE GOLDFINCH Trompe L'oeil painting by Carel Fabritius (1654)

Various waterfowl  in “One Year in Milkweed” painting by Arshile Gorky (1944) waiting for a better painting opportunity

All photos of paintings are in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Coommons

The following birds flew in from Shutterstock
Snow Goose, Mallard Duck, Painted Bunting, Toucan, King Vulture


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