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Lightwell Gallery Upcoming Exhibitions


R. Eric McMaster brings athletic twist to the next Lightwell exhibition

Aesthleticisms by R. Eric McMaster opens Monday, Feb. 17, in the Lightwell Gallery of the University of Oklahoma School of Visual Arts. This exhibition features sculpture, photography, video and performance, with a focus on moments, situations or objects that affect athletes, shifting their (and in turn the viewer’s) relationship to the known. It is a curated collection of works created since 2013.

The opening reception is scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, on the second floor of the OU SoVA, 520 Parrington Oval, Norman. The reception is open to the public and complimentary.

“My works often involve athletes or performers that are jolted in some way, be it environmental, situational, and/or through an interaction with an object. The physically gifted are kept from fully performing their routines and robbed of the chance to achieve their goals. A situation is created, a group or person with heightened proprioception attempts, and the resulting relics and documentation take the form of an exhibition,” said McMaster when asked about his work process. “In general, I am interested in disrupting expectation. With performers, I am captivated by the relationship between the quest for perfection versus the result. In objects, I am fascinated when a familiar object questions physical assumption or when an object is seen as a relic.”

He added, “When we experience the familiar disrupted, we often can’t clearly categorize the experience. It generates moments of awe or humor, sometimes at the same time. We are reminded of the human element of polished performances; we are made aware of the effort of an individual. We do a double take in an attempt to understand the physicality or the narrative behind an object. Reframing or distorting the familiar shifts our understanding and we can start to register an unnamable thing that is often missing from our vocabulary.”

McMaster’s main goal is to share his unique view of how athletics and the arts cross, and he hopes to disrupt the familiar ways in which we see athletes and sports.

The artist’s works involve fabricated objects, performers, actions and images that shift the viewer’s relationship to the familiar. His works have been exhibited widely at venues across the United States and abroad, including the Hiroshima MOCA, the Blanton Museum of Art, Vox Populi, Antenna Gallery in New Orleans, Richmond’s 1708 Gallery, the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, the Lawndale Art Center and Austin’s Testsite, among others. 

McMaster is the recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund, Elsewhere Studio Residency, and numerous scholastic grants and scholarships. He currently lives and works in Austin, Texas, where he holds a faculty position in the Art and Art History Department of the University of Texas.  

He will have another exhibition at the Blanton Museum of Art later this spring.