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Reed, Shelley - National Museum of Wildlife Art

Shelley Reed: In Dubious Battle

This exhibition (02.05.2015 - 23.08.2015) showcases Shelley Reed’s 47-foot-long masterwork “In Dubious Battle,” based on Old Master paintings in which animals often stand in for people and are used to create visual parables about the strengths and failings of human nature. Animals in lush, gorgeous paintings communicate with, flirt with, and consume each other. 

is an unusual painter – although she began as a colorist, she does not use color in her current work. Her palette shrank as she became less interested in exploiting color and more interested in exploring the meaning of Old Master paintings. Reed not only makes Old Master paintings feel contemporary by making them large and banishing color; she focuses on contrasting mixtures of high culture with wildness, as represented by tigers, lions, birds, and other animals. (Text: National Museum of Wildlife Art)