Reviews

‘Color as Structure’ at McKenzie Fine Art

New York

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Rob de Oude, Cloud Computing/4, 2014, oil on canvas, 32" x 32". COURTESY THE ARTIST AND MCKENZIE FINE ART, NEW YORK

Rob de Oude, Cloud Computing/4, 2014, oil on canvas, 32" x 32".

COURTESY THE ARTIST AND MCKENZIE FINE ART, NEW YORK

his lively show purported to examine how artists use color to define space or structure, but it also demonstrated how the geometric tradition in art remains alive. There were echoes here of Josef Albers, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, et al., but with ingratiating twists. Several works, by Richard Roth, Cordy Ryman, and Martha Clippinger, mediated between painting and sculpture, hugging the wall but jutting slyly into the viewer’s space. Jason Karolak’s little paintings packed a punch as neon-colored geometries dissolved from plausible structures into puzzling cat’s cradles. Maureen McQuillan’s luminous abstractions were as ephemeral-looking as smoke rings, while Rob de Oude’s square-gridded fields seemed to marry Op Art with Agnes Martin; Paul Corio took the grid even further into Op territory with his dazzling Megalicious (2011).

Pieces by Alain Biltereyst, Richard Caldicott, Kate Shepherd, Don Voisine, and Holly Miller all focused on the power of simple hard-edged shapes but introduced unusual materials like thread and photograms. Meanwhile, Mel Bernstine, Elise Ferguson, and Deborah Zlotsky, in some of the busiest paintings here, offered ingeniously implausible structures, and Richard Garrison’s mixed-media compositions referred to fliers from stores like Walmart and Target. These works, however modest in scale, were resonant with quiet drama.

A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 118.

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