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Tomma Abts, Oke, 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18 7/8 × 15".

Tomma Abts

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

Tomma Abts, Oke, 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18 7/8 × 15".

At once volatile and precise, Tomma Abts’s work keeps shifting beneath your feet. Echoing a wide range of precursors—from high Constructivism (Alexander Archipenko and Henryk Stażewski), to geometric abstraction’s flashier midcentury incarnations (Richard Anuszkiewicz, Victor Vasarely), to the eager swallowing-up of both by the “rad,” spray-paint-besmirched graphic design of the 1980s—the London-based artist’s neat, sharp, labor-intensive paintings unite a shallow if convincing illusory depth with a neurotic meticulousness to erect optical labyrinths that both tantalize and deceive. It’s as if Max Bill discovered the drop shadow and came to the party drunk on Op art: Try as you might, you can’t look away.

For all her obsessive fine-tuning and technical perfectionism, however, Abts leaves behind big, obvious clues pointing to her all-too-human hand: Among the paintings

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