Kelly and Kyle Phelps
God… Steel and a Wasted Dream
After the Dream - 2015 - ceramic, mixed media 48 3/8 x 28 1/4 x 10 1/8
Hooks-Epstein Galleries is very proud to present an exhibition for identical twin brothers, Kelly and Kyle Phelps. An exhibition of ceramics and mixed media, God… Steel and a Wasted Dream will open at 11:00am on Saturday, October 22, 2016, with an artists talk at 5:00pm, followed by a reception for the artists from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The exhibition will continue through Wednesday, November 23, 2016.
Kelly and Kyle Phelps are Professors at private Catholic universities in Ohio. Kelly is a Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Xavier University (Cincinnati) where he oversees the sculpture department. Kyle is a Professor at University of Dayton (Dayton) where he is the head of the ceramic/sculpture department. They work collaboratively to create their artwork and share a studio in Centerville (OH).
Kelly and Kyle Phelps’ work encompasses the creation of traditional ceramic, sculpture, and mixed media art. Much of their work is about the blue collar working-class, race relations, and the everyday struggles of the common man and woman. They grew up in a blue-collar/factory environment in Indiana where they were inspired by family members and friends who worked in various manufacturing plants, steel mills, and foundries.
The twins have produced work that combines hand-crafted figurative works (clay/resin casts) with found objects from actual factory sites. Kyle and Kelly have combined gears, corrugated metal, and scrap-machined parts along with these modeled ceramic/resin cast figures to create visual narrative compositions about the blue-collar experience.
It is important for the twins to continue to combine hand-crafted art forms together with these found objects in order to give their work an authentic sense of place and time. Much of Kyle and Kelly’s work not only allows the viewer to visualize the compositions, but also rouses their other senses as well. Some of the found objects that the twins have incorporated into their work are soot-covered or soaked in cutting machine oils that emit a distinctive odor commonly found in automotive factories.
The twins share numerous grants; regional, national, and international exhibitions; museum permanent collections; and commissions. Notable private collectors of the twins’ work are film director Michael Moore and actor Morgan Freeman. Their work has also received major reviews in notable publications such as Sculpture Magazine, American Craft Magazine, and USA TODAY.
God… Steel and a Wasted Dream continues through November 23, 2016.