Beth Hammack’s nonrepresentational, mostly white acrylic paintings, Doug Hoke’s black-and-white photos turning city buildings into abstractions, and John Wolfe’s sculptures fusing figures with furniture are on view at JRB Art at the Elms.
The Oklahoma City artists’ works will be displayed through May 31 in the gallery in the Paseo Arts District.
Hammack is an artist whose background in interior and jewelry design subliminally informs her graphite and acrylic on canvas paintings that are medium to large format and much more abstract than realistic.
An unmoored, yellowish-green, vaguely vegetal, almost island-like shape occupies the center and seems to jump from one canvas to the other in Hammack’s large, two-part “Tuileries Garden” composition.
A red rectangle in the lower righthand corner provides us with a “Window of Opportunity” into one Hammack composition, while a dark shape that looks a little like a “Black Chicken” supplies a good focal point for a second.
Varying the off-white dominance of Hammack’s paintings is one in which naively rendered “Birds in the Yucatan” struggle to emerge from the mostly rough gray, rather than white, bark-enhanced background.
Hoke shifts gears from his work as photography director at The Oklahoman to emphasize — nearly to the point of abstraction — the black-and-white geometry of city architectural subjects, often seen from odd angles.
The dark, globular fixtures of a “Lamp,” seen from directly below, appear to loom over us, like a giant insect, and reflections in slotlike windows are turned into an urban piano “Keyboard,” in two of Hoke’s best pictures.
Less hard-edged and more impressionistic is Hoke’s photo of the “Reflections in an Alley” of what appears to be one sunlit building on the dark walls of another.
Other understated, unexpected pictures by Hoke direct our attention to “Reflected Cables” or a small, empty boarding dock at the downtown “Union Bus Station.”
Wolfe attaches small, smoke-fired ceramic heads and hands to the deliberately rough-hewn and angular looking, reddish-brown wood and metal furniture “bodies” of his sculptural figures, with numbers for titles.
Wolfe’s bald-skulled “#15” has a lathe-turned arm extended out as far as he can, and his “#14” holds her tiny head, turned to one side, as if suffering from an extreme headache.
Heads are placed atop long, rectangular, two-legged wooden bodies that suggest ornate vanity chests or perhaps free-standing mirrors, with no glass for self-reflection, in many of Wolfe’s other sculptural creations.
Wolfe is a longtime artist and teacher who has worked in almost every medium but is best known for sculpture.
Hammack’s “Better Than Wallpaper” paintings, Hoke’s “North of Reno” photos, and Wolfe’s numbered, mixed media sculptures are recommended during their run.
— John Brandenburg, for The Oklahoman
Paintings by Beth Hammack, photos by Doug Hoke, sculptures by John Wolfe
•Where: JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N Walker.
•When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.
•Information: 528-6336 or www.jrbartgallery.com.