Tiny, jewellike spots of pure paint, applied with an impasto technique, add up to visual meditations on nature and our place in it, in a show of oil paintings by Karam at Paseo Originals Art Gallery.
The show is called “A Walk Through the Soul,” which may be a gentle wordplay by the artist, who is a native of Seoul in Korea and a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City.
According to a gallery spokesman, Karam, who uses only one name, “left a very successful career in graphic design” to pursue fine art, moving to Oklahoma City about eight years ago from New York.
One, two or three small, dark, silhouetted figures, who seem to be pondering some existential question, walk toward a forest, which sometimes opens up to the sky, in quite a few of Karam’s most intriguing works.
No less engaging, however, are works in which the figures are omitted to concentrate on rich color and trees, either covered with leaves, as in “First Snow in the Golden Forest,” or their trunks bare, in a “Relaxing Moment.”
Simplified, elongated oval shapes and small low clouds that seem to float past give the yellow trees of Karam’s “Once Upon a Time,” and the blue trees of “Sounds of Nature,” a symbolic, fantasy-fairytale dimension.
Blue-purple, leafless trees, surrounded by fiery leaves and patches of color, thrust upward into a pale blue-pink sky, in Karam’s “Secret Wish,” and a solitary white house in a forest evokes enjoying the “Freedom of Nature.”
An ambivalent view of human habitation is also suggested by two of Karam’s black-and-white oils of isolated houses in open spaces, and her color view of four white buildings, lined up on the horizon. The title of the latter work, “Settlement,” has a positive, civilizing connotation, while the greater expanse of horizontal space around four houses in a wider format work implies they may be lost in the “Middle of Nowhere.”
Karam’s solo “soul” show is recommended during its run through June 15. On view through the same date, and well-worth visiting, is the gallery’s elegant “Art Glass in Oklahoma” group exhibit.
Oklahoma City-area artists showing work are father and son, Italian-style blown-glass artists Chris McGahan and Micah McGahan, and husband-wife fused-glass artists Rick and Tracey Bewley.
Also showing glass work is Tulsa artist John Byrne, who traveled extensively to Europe and Central America as a business consultant.
— John Brandenburg, for The Oklahoman
‘A Walk Through the Soul’
•Where: Paseo Originals Art Gallery, 2920 Paseo.
•When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, through June 15.
•Information: 604-6602 or www.paseooriginals.com.