May 2015

Don Voisine, Narrows, 2015
Oil on wood panel, 40 x 60 inches. Courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art

Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art

Don Voisine’s masterful geometric puzzles have always packed a wallop, implying supergraphic mural scale despite their modest, easel painting dimensions. In the new work, taxicab yellows and blood reds, previously held in tight compression at the borders, invade the center where dark matter normally reigns. There Voisine’s stroked gloss and matte effects bounce in the eye as through a polarized lens, creating internal angles that hinge as you walk. In strong color, compared to the usual black, these subtle, monochromatic contrasts amplify weirdly, and time seems to stitch back to 1965, when Ad Reinhardt, Bridget Riley and other perfectly highbrow painters were included in The Responsive Eye, MoMA’s definitive Op exhibition. A half century on, that show’s controversial conflation of the eternal truths of hard-edge abstraction with faddish optical kicks seems perfectly viable, at least in Voisine’s smartly synthetic practice.