Don Voisine, Sidekick, 2008, 36" x 18", oil on wood
The primary principle at work in the paintings of Don Voisine, thru June 6 at McKenzie Fine Art, is compression -- like the stuff that oozes out between your fingers if you squeeze a handful of mud, the action in Voisine's paintings happens at the pressure points between opposing forces. The compositions themselves are embodiments of this pressurized tension, colorful and speedy around the edges, becoming slower and more dense at their black center. Voisine is able to wring an amazing amount of variation from very few well-chosen elements. Most engaging is the variety of blacks -- purples, greens, blues, reds -- all masquerading as black, with wonderful contrasts between matte and glossy surfaces that change as you walk around the piece. These blacks are activated by strips of pastel or sometimes almost day-glo color of varying widths aligning the verticle or horizontal edges. The X formed by the two intersecting black slabs on a white ground causes a dance of triangular shapes between the black and the bright color. Voisine has found a universe in Malevich's tilted square.