The 12th-century Sufi masterpiece from which this sprawling group exhibition derives its title charts follows 30 birds on a mission to persuade the phoenix-like Simorgh to become their king. Coming to the mythical bird’s purported habitat, all the pilgrims discover is a deserted lake in which they see their own reflections. Attar of Nishapur, its author, played upon a pun between Simorgh and the Persian word for “thirty”: each of the birds represents a human obstacle to enlightenment. This exhibition curator Brenda Zlamany couldn’t resist the temptations of an extra half dozen artists but with such a stunning array of variations on themes ornithological, who is counting? DAVID COHEN
For details of the concert Friday evening featuring two of the artists in the show, Kurt Hoffman and David Humphrey, see the Lectures/Events section of THE LIST. Pictured here, a magnificent canvas by Hunt Slonem greeting visitors at the opening of the exhibition.
Concert: Friday, June 19, 6.30-8PM
Exhibition remains on view through July 9, 2016
Shirley Fiterman Art Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College
81 Barclay Street at corner of West Broadway
Hunt Slonem, Lories, 2008. Oil on canvas, 93 x 133 inches