Istvan show fuses grit, serendipity, surrealism

JOHN BRANDENBURG
For The Oklahoman
Modified: June 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm •  Published: June 1, 2012
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There is a good interaction between gritty and serendipity and sometimes surreal elements in a show of work by six artists at Istvan Gallery, 1218 N Western.

Showing art in the exhibit are Michael Wilson, Tunde Darvay, Suzanne Thomas, Trula Dawn Jackson, Scott Henderson and Eric Wright.

Monotypes by Norman artist Wilson, which she calls “landscapes of the mind,” range from elegant figurative line drawings on white backgrounds, to funky pop art- and graffiti art-influenced prints.

“One Leg” of a model holding her head is the focal point of a monotype which seems to benefit from what is left out, while Wilson reverses the black-white relationship in “Black with Figures.”

Wilson advises us to “Open Your Mind,” but not too much, in a monotype whose impact is enhanced by its graffiti-like background with red and turquoise guitar outlines.

Red and green hues also give an expressive edge to Wilson’s pop art, diner or fast food-friendly print of a burger, fries and a “Drink” in a tall blue cup.

Surreal yet serendipitous would be one way to describe the mixed media paintings on wood and often non-rectangular surfaces of Transylvanian-born artist Darvay, who lives in Norman.

A Marc Chagall-esque man with a goatee comes down from the blue sky to court a seated green woman, holding or petting a cat, in front of a plush couch, in Darvay’s “He Stoops to Conquer,” for example.

Thomas varies the background colors and decorative patterns behind the three graces, radically simplified to neo primitive miniature diety or doll-like figures, in a naively appealing series of monotypes.

Jackson intentionally keeps her imagery simple, too, in pinhole photographs of a broken egg shell, in front of a black background, and of a single dark feather in a snow-covered field.

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