In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Victoria Donohoe reports that Joe McAleer uses color to make geometric form more dynamic. “Beyond that, he contrasts the grid’s vibrations with the narrow line that’s in his paintings as a physical signifier between the varied shapes. So the ‘hard’ abstract style of this patternmaker from Moorestown is modified in various ways, both by paint and by his use of photographic montages as minor elements most recently interwoven in these works. Op art, you may recall, is a hard-edged, surgically precise painting style that emerged in the early 1960s as an alternative to abstract expressionism, much of its illusion being attained through line. But the impulse goes back further for McAleer, to Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, especially in his use of high-key color in one of these paintings. And McAleer’s particular contribution as an op artist is what he calls ‘jumpsquare,’ a basic form he developed while working on his grid paintings in 2007. Its frequent use here gives his canvases additional depth and focus, while avoiding a manufactured look. McAleer’s works are becoming increasingly successful as he reduces the number of variables and deals with a design pattern we all can more readily figure out and appreciate.”
“Joe McAleer: Optic Diamonds,” Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. Through May 29.
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