Plane Speaking, McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY

Don Voisine, Tricoteuse, 2010
Oil on wood
17 x 18 inches

January 6 – February 12, 2011

This is the fourth January group exhibition in a series focusing on aspects of abstraction. In this instance, it is an examination of the use of planarity in painting, sculpture, and photography. Work in the exhibition ranges from deceptively simple, geometric work that consciously embraces the flatness of the picture plane, to those using complex interactions of planar forms to construct the illusion of depth, volume, and movement.

Kim MacConnel’s exuberantly colored enamel paintings use simple diamond, ovoid, and rectangular forms to create a joyful internal cadence. Joanne Mattera creates reductive yet richly colored and textured near-monochromes built up of layers of encaustic, and Steven Alexander layers colors into textured fields activated with centralized, multi-colored rectangular shapes, echoing the planar field of the painting. Don Voisine, Karen Schifano, and Brent Hallard all employ a reductive palette and strong rectilinear forms in taut and precise compositions that reference architecture but also set up internal rhythms of alternating geometries and shifting spatial depth.

The industrially inspired, complex painting of Dannielle Tegeder, with planar forms set at oblique angles, uses the interaction of planar elements to impart a sensation of deep space. Reed Danziger’s work employs prismatic volumes intersecting with both linear and biomorphic forms to suggest movement within an abstract landscape. Sara Eichner’s planar grids of intersecting hexagonal fields simultaneously impart a sense of movement and the suggestion of infinite space. Ion Zupcu uses multiple exposures in his black-and-white photographs of simply painted cubes to build up dimensional illusion, generating planar layers that seem to pulsate.

The exploration of depth is continued into the spatial realm. Don Christensen’s wall-mounted sculpture of found furniture painted with geometric shapes playfully pushes the flatness of painting into three-dimensions. Heather Hutchison creates simple forms from bent acrylic sheets articulated with crisp bands of color to achieve a similar end through more reductive means, while exploiting the translucency of the material to elegant effect. Tilman’s large floor sculpture, constructed from layered, tilting stacks of monochromatically painted board, gives the impression of a painting that has been taken apart or perhaps in the process of being assembled.