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Show highlights interplay between real and surreal

For The Oklahoman
Modified: March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm •  Published: March 12, 2013

There is a fascinating interaction between the real and the surreal, the natural world and the otherworldly, in a 4-person show at Istvan Gallery, 1218 N Western.

On view are landscape photos by Norman artist Marvin Lee, ceramics and other works by Edmond artist Alesa Clymer, and mixed media works by Oklahoma City artists Amanda Bradway and William Struby.

Magnificent mountains provide magnificent backdrops in two superb color photographs by Lee.

Golden, sunlit trees on a hill in the foreground contrast with the cloud-shrouded and snow covered barrier of “Mt.Cook” in the first picture by Lee.

In the second Lee composition, an orange-leaved “Wanaka Tree” rises improbably out of the water in front of a majestic snowy mountain range.

Other memorable Lee photos include a small, toned black-and-white study of “Doubtful Sound,” and an intriguing color picture of a long log and other weathered objects lying on the shoreline of “Ship Creek.”

Much more painterly and painting-like are Lee’s altered color photos, printed on canvas, of a blue and green “Rain Tree” with red leaves, and of the hilltop “Church of the Good Shepherd” under a starry sky.

Struby brings a well-honed surreal edge and sense of the absurd to his technically very well executed mixed media collage creations.

In one work by Struby, a hand holds a bird in front of part of a man’s sports coat and a woman’s bare torso, under three women whose smiles are advertisements for cleanliness, mouth freshness, and “Luster.”

In another Struby composition, a little chick looks admiringly up at a very large rooster that is not only “Alright,” but “just about the coolest thing you ever saw,” standing on one leg in front of the rising sun.

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