6.13.2009

Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art

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The view to your left as you enter the gallery: Parisian Heiress, 2008, 32 x 32 inches; Veer, 2008, 32 x 60 inches; High Time, 2008, 44 x 44 inches, all oil on wood
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Aside from Marketing Mondays, which I'm committed to producing every week, I've been a bit preoccupied with a commission. Now I'm back! I'm also late; the exhibitions I'm going to show you this week are over. But the work is still fresh and fabulous, and if you need to see something in person, I'll bet the galleries have a few works in the back room.
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Let's start with Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art. A few words come to mind: abstract, geometric, reductive, taut, tense, spatial, flat, constructivist, compressed.
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Main gallery with Inauguration, center, and Veer, 2008, right
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Below: Inauguration, 2009, oil on wood, 60 x 60 inches. The band colors were inspired by the color of the dress Michelle Obama wore on Inauguration Day. This image from the gallery's website
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Compressed is the big one for me. Bands of color typically push into a large black "x" shape from top and bottom. Thus contained, the compositions seem perfectly poised at the moment before something happens, a sensation that's heightened by subtleties in the color/surface of the paint. A rectangle of shiny in a field of matte, for instance, suggests barely perceptible internal shifts, while one forceful diagonal laid crosswise atop another suggests the possibility of much greater tectonic movement.

Against this perimeter compression, the hard-edge X pushes back, so the entire field is active with positive and negative space, push and pull. An X is always riveting--it's the nature of the shape--but while you're glued to your viewing spot, your eyes are constantly moving. That play of matte and gloss is especially activating, underscored by tiny chromatic variations in the black. So there you are in a visual tug of war with the floor, the wall, the physical presence of the painting and the space within it. That's quite a workout for such "minimal" work.
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The corner straight ahead of you when you enter the gallery. Specifics below


Above: Radiant Rhythm, 2009, 24 x 24 inches; below: Weave, 2009, 16 x 26 inches, both oil on wood



More reading:

. Brooklyn Rail interview of the artist by Ben La Rocco and Craig Olson
. Steven Alexander's insightful review of Voisine's show, here (I didn't realize he also talked about compression, but the work does evoke that sensation--and compatible minds arrived at the same conclusion)

1 comment:

concretephone said...

Joanne nice description: And indeed a workout. As you mention the internal movements remind us just how close we are to understanding perpetual/perceptual motion. It's been the art and engine of life in art for a long time. I’m just going to have a chat with GM telling them to skip the battery, that stuff is just interim. What we are working on now is how to actually charge for a replacement part that does not wear… but that’s another story.
You get the ‘how’ something is contained and working, though has the oomph to flow out past the internal activity, to be picked up by the body where dual partnership works with the architectonics of space. Good stuff!
I'll get to see smaller versions, no doubt, later this year.

Thanks

c.p.