The pleasures of the minimal. Just the bare thing. Raw, open, essential. Unvarnished.

Here are two minimal recent moments. One was indoors, at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, and the other was the outdoors, in Utah.

Damien Hoar De Galvan’s show, I Wish I had Something to Say, is like a cool drink in your hand on a hot day. I was delighted, engaged and energized by the back room at Carroll and Sons transformed by this motley collection of his small works. The wit and tone is perfectly pitched—neither self conscious nor manipulative, but thoughtfully playful with a quiet strength. The tension between the visual and the languaged that exists in work of this kind is a very fine line, and it is tricky to navigate. Going off track results in pandering on the one side or falling into the arcane on the other.

Clearly DHDG is an artist drinking from the same stream as Richard Tuttle*, Bill Walton** and one recently exposed facet of my friend George Wingate***, three artists whose work never grows tiresome. But DHDG is, as each of these three, engaging in this form in his own way. Through July 30.

A wall of simple images on paper—unframed and immediate

My second minimalist moment: The desert landscape in Utah. It is elemental to me—the light, the sky, the landscape. In a recent review in Art News of my show in Santa Fe earlier this year, the reviewer put it this way:

Deborah Barlow lives and works near Boston, but is so starkly, deliberately, ocularly a creature of the West—where she spent her youth and formative years—that one risks confounding the senses even before peeling back the first layer of brusque sensuality that clings to the surface of her paintings.

The desert is inside, that I know.

Great Salt Lake, from the southern end of the lake

The view near Saltair

Wheat fields near Lehi

Another Lehi view

Double rainbow! I never see these in the East

The light after a storm: Soft and yet acidic


Other minimalists:

*I have written a number of posts about Richard Tuttle on Slow Muse:

Scale it Up, Scale it Down
Tuttle Therapy
Go Broad, or Go Deep

**Bill Walton‘s posthumous show in Philadelphia is reviewed here.

***George Wingate‘s installation from earlier this year is reviewed here.