George Wingate viewing “Candara” at the show in Providence (photo by Robert Hanlon)

George Wingate, artist and life long friend made a trip down from Wenham to see the show at Rhode Island College, “Acquire/Inquire.” He sent me the photograph above with these simple words:

standing before the moon.

Oh that I could evoke that haunting landscape, that I might capture some of that earthiness that is not Earth, that landscape that does not carry a drop of our DNA in its dust.

The show comes down today. This was an important exhibit for me, the first public showing of a very new and different body of work. Thank you to the wizardry and resourcefulness of curator James Montford, the accompaniment of three extraordinary women—Marcia Goodwin, Doris Weiner and Denyse Wilhelm—and the universally welcoming faculty and staff at Rhode Island College.

Here are highlights from three reviews of the show:

Barlow’s paintings are sensual…she paints handsome, crusty, glistening abstractions like Golasule, which resembles frosty white-blue ice. Others look like lichen or, in the case of Gola, a turquoise and milky white tropical tide pool.
Greg Cook
The Boston Phoenix

The paintings of Deborah Barlow are ethereal and light, mixing multiple forms of paint and technique. While the other artists focused on a search and discovery form of style, Barlow is more scientific and alchemic.
Kyle Grant
The Anchor

Deborah Barlow is represented by a series of lushly luminous abstractions that look a bit like Minimalist cloudscapes. (Look long enough and you may feel like you’re floating inside the world’s most tasteful lava lamp.)
Bill Van Siclen
The Providence Journal

I am always grateful for fresh words that help describe a new body of work. “Standing before the moon” feels good, as do a few other words that came from these writers—“handsome,” “crusty,” “glistening,” “scientific,” “alchemic.” Even the lava lamp reference is growing on me after my very with it daughter gave it a thumbs up.


One wall of the “Acquire/Inquire” installation

To see more images from the show, click here.

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