Hyper-realism is depicted in new OKCMOA exhibit

JOHN BRANDENBURG
For The Oklahoman
Modified: January 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013
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"57th Street," 2011, Robert Neffson. Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, New York. Courtesy International Arts

Animal subjects are dealt with, brilliantly, in Peter Maier’s large, glassy-surfaced painting of the head of a tiny “Chick,” and in Richard McLean’s oil of a work horse and a dog at a stable (tended by two employees with their bag lunch).

Still life paintings, many of them influenced by pop art, are another strong element in the show, including Roberto Bernardo’s oil of candy sticks in a glass jar, and Ralph Goings’ oil of two donuts leaning on a coffee cup.

A winged “Art Angel” hovers over devil-like toy figures and eight planet-like marbles circle a larger marble sun in deftly executed 1986 and 1994 oil paintings by Tulsa native Charles Bell (1935-1995).

David Parrish relies on toy figures rather than actual people — a James Dean-like “Rebel” and a “Bass Man Cookie Jar” — in two large oil canvases, done in 2008 and 2006.

Italian artist Luigi Benedicenti does a good job of combining portraiture with still life in “Sara Solitario,” a 2011 oil panel of a thoughtful young woman in scanty attire sitting beside a picture of a luscious fruit tart.

Chuck Close supplies two head-and-shoulders portraits — a black-and-white 1986 etching of his wife “Leslie,” made with fingerprints, and a 2004 silkscreen of “James,” that seems to consist of a host of tiny abstract compositions.

Dealing admirably with our fascination with shiny and not-so-shiny objects, ranging from motorcycles and trucks to vintage, luxury and racing cars, are works by Goings, Maier, Tom Blackwell, Ron Kleemann and Cheryl Kelley.

Less easy to categorize is “Noir Time II (Fallingwater),” a 1998 oil by Paul Caranicas, who lends an air of understated mystery to the figures inhabiting the multiple levels of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece.

Detail is less obsessive, too, in Susan Sykes small 2008 watercolor of people standing in front of the brightly lit façade of the “White House, December 7, 1941,” as cars drive by in front of them.

Bringing to mind a cool, contemporary version of “The Last Supper” is a second small work by Sykes, called “Violet Café No. 2.”

In this oil panel by Sykes, twelve young men and women stand or sit at a table outside the café, many with their backs to us, while a muscular man, also facing away, stands inside it, listening to an earphone or talking on his cell phone.

The touring photorealism exhibit is highly recommended during its run through April 21 at OKCMOA.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens, college students and children; and $5 for members of the military. Museum members and children five or under are admitted free.

Call 236-3100 or visit the website at www.okcmoa.com for information.