Jeff Koons' "Rabbit," 1986, on the block at Christie's come May 15 in the S.I. Newhouse auction. How high can this stainless steel lapin go? (Courtesy of Christie's)
A wall in the historic Cordts Mansion, in Kingston, New York — one of Hunt Slonem’s multiple residences — features his yellow Hutch wallpaper for Groundworks. The artist is known for his preservation commitment and dramatic decorating schemes interjecting pattern and color into the past.
Torrie Groening’s “Museum of the Senses for an Artist (Touch),” 2007 at Foto Relevance. The Canadian artist is one of the most exciting talents to watch in contemporary photography for her amalgamation of camera arts and drawing. (Courtesy of the artist and Foto Relevance, Houston)
Chronicler of the Art Car movement Irv Tepper captured the allure and energy of Rex the Rabbit in this image, which was exhibited in 2011 at the Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas. (Courtesy of the artist)
Hunt Slonem's "PGB 05109," 2018. Slonem's been rabbit obsessed since his childhood, and the animals are featured in his canvases, a book, and home decor items. (Courtesy Laura Rathe Fine Art, Houston and Dallas)
A Hunt Slonem-upholstered pillow and Houston-based Wrigley the Rabbit (owned by PaperCity's Farrell Lawo) star in this vignette. (Courtesy Hops & Bun Co.)
Houston pet personality Wrigley the Rabbit gave inspiration to the Hops & Bun Co. home accessories collection formed from oyster shells. (Courtesy Hops & Bun Co., www.hopsandbun.com)
A very grand lapin: Barry Flanagan's bronze "Large Leaping Hare," 1982, exhibited in 2012 at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. (Photo by Press Association, courtesy Sotheby's)
Barry Flanagan's "Nijinski Hare," as installed in 2012 on the great lawn of Chatsworth House, England, was a defining moment for rabbits in contemporary art. (Courtesy of Sotheby's)
Kelley Devine admires a Hunt Slonem canvas at Laura Rathe Fine Art, Houston (Photo by Lizette Belen Soto)
Hunt Slonem's droll wallpaper for Groundworks, through Lee Jofa.
Albrecht Dürer's "Wild Hare," 1502, is one of the top treasures in the collection of Vienna's renowned Albertina Museum
Along with a neighbor, the author rescued this rabbit abandoned at Freed Park in Spring Branch. Fluffy was then adopted by a family living in the Heights.
As we hit Easter and Passover, the symbol of the season is none other than spring’s signature creature — the rabbit.
Read about how the wild and humble bunny became the holiday’s poster animal here.
While this time of year is all about bunnies bearing baskets brimming with dyed eggs, jelly beans, Peeps, and all manner of chocolates, one rabbit in particular will also have a big role in the contemporary art market in the weeks ahead.
The story is spun from the red-hot auction realm where the iconic collection of the late media mogul and art tastemaker S. I. Newhouse is on the block at Christie’s.
That would be none other than an emblematic work by today’s reigning Pop king and arguably the successor to Warhol — Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, a stainless steel rendition of a child’s balloon. The sculpture recalls an inflated version of a Bugs Bunny-inspired prize a kid might win at a carnival.
Rabbit also marked a watershed moment when it was created in 1986.
With its dual role as an art-historical disruptor and talisman of impeccable provenance art-world insiders have speculated that it might go as high as $70 million when the hammer goes down on the Newhouse collection on Wednesday, May 15 at Christie’s Rockefeller Center Manhattan HQ.
Natch this rabbit even gets its own video on the Christie’s site, one which emphasizes its saucy alien-like sex drive.
Old Master + a Classic Hare
Across the pond the action involves the rabbit’s cousin, a wild hare, which is among the most prized artworks in the collection of Vienna’s venerable Albertina Museum.
This watercolor from 1502, painted half a millennium ago by German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer is rarely on view — about once a decade — due to its fragile state as a 500-year old work on paper.
See what makes this Dürer’s masterwork unique here.
Wild Hare soon will be one of the central works in the Albertina’s upcoming blockbuster exhibition on Dürer set to open September 20 and to remain on view through January 6, 2020.
For our picks for fave rabbits in interiors and artwork closer to home — including the wildest art car ride of all time — scroll through the slide show.
And learn the identity of the two lapins that gave inspiration to this post.