EDMOND — A show of bronze sculpture by David Phelps and oil paintings by Kevin Tero wraps up Friday in the newly remodeled Melton Gallery at the University of Central Oklahoma.
An internationally known Oklahoma City artist who was UCO's first sculpture teacher from 1989 to 1994, Phelps shows smaller and medium-sized versions of some of his best known sculptures. Particularly iconic is Phelps' bronze sculpture of a male “Pastoral Dreamer,” clad in camp attire, lying back with his legs crossed and head resting on hands, his body cut off by the display stand.
Female figurative subjects include a polychrome “Woman Bathing” inside part of the lip of a gray-white tub, and “Grace,” whose nearly life-size bronze body is cut off by the floor rather than water. A bald, pregnant woman becomes a “Girlbuoy,” the lower part of her body cut off by the stand, while the “Musings” of a seated woman are interrupted by Phelps in his sculpture of that title.
In other Phelps' sculptures, a cracked desert rabbit sits atop a boat-shaped “Watership Down,” and a horned toad, rabbit and turtle are passengers on a dark granite, not necessarily biblical “Arc.” Even more surreal is a bronze, concrete and steel sculpture of part of a woman, standing on the dial of an “Eight Party Line” telephone, and part of a man, rolling backward out of a “Royal” typewriter.
Tero is showing his oil paintings in the new gallery space he was instrumental in designing.
Also slightly surreal, Tero's technically well-handled paintings offer us close-up, often aerial depictions of plants, fruit, bugs, butterflies and, doughnuts. A doughnut with purple icing in a white bowl, seen from directly above, provides a “Room for Two” blue-winged butterflies, in one of his most engaging works.
Black beetles seem “Glazed and Confused” by their success in devouring a maple-topped doughnut, while a monarch butterfly makes a “Nice Landing” on a chocolate doughnut.
Other wordplay titled works by Tero include an oil of a striped crawler demonstrating the “Folly of Youth” on orange sections, and a painting of watermelon sections with gray “Moths to Feed.”
On view along with selected works by UCO students, the show is recommended viewing.
— John Brandenburg