In his previous show here in 2012, Voisine displayed those same proclivities by carefully placing solid colors into interlocking (and often irregular) shapes, and by paying particularly close attention to how the space around the edges of his small canvases could be used to define still other forms. He still does. What distinguishes the artist’s recent work is how, at key junctures, he pits matte textures against glossy areas to suggest dark, luminous pools of light. It’s astonishingly simple, this juxtaposition, but it does many things all at once. Most notably it serves to underscore and intensify the already dichotomous relations between the central forms and those that populate the edges.
Cary Smith with whom Voisine is partnered is a Connecticut painter whose abstract works run in two directions: geometric and biomorphic. Here, the former dominate, and that’s our loss because his elegant curvaceous forms, reminiscent of Matisse and Arp, are his strong suit, and in this exhibit only one example, Splat # 17 (black), is on view, tucked away in a far corner. As with similar works shown this year at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, this one fuses bulbous shapes with muscular girders. It pushes nonobjectivity to the best possible place, that being the place where abstraction bypasses real-world referents. By contrast, his color-rich grid paintings – small squares on solid backgrounds — seem formal, matter-of-fact. They demonstrate that what we see is sometimes all we see. While the logic of pairing Voisine and Smith is obvious, showing the contrasts between their respective approaches would have made for a stronger show. As is, Voisine easily carries it.
–DAVID M. ROTH
Connie Goldman says
This was a wonderful show. How lucky we are in the Bay Area to have had the chance to see Cary’s and Don’s strong, beautiful work in person. They are two of the best out there!