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Brooklyn Workshop Gallery: Paintings by Deborah Barlow and sculpture by Rina Peleg

Beautiful imperfection: real beauty is rooted in reality. Give up the pursuit of perfection—visual perfection can be cold and unforgiving. Things yield their value at different rates. Enjoy things that aren’t obviously beautiful, or even a little clumsy, if they engage the senses in other ways.

So says Ilse Crawford, designer and creative director who launched British Elle Decoration 20 years ago. “Engaging the senses” is more than just employing the see/touch/taste/feel/ear array of experiences. There are variations within the visual that continue to astound me as I paint, all these years later.

And yes, it is a recurring theme. I have referenced the extraordinary book, The Eyes of the Skin by architect Juhani Pallasmaa in an earlier post, but have yet to write in more detail about how powerfully this book has deepened my understanding and awareness of these issues. It is such a great title and such a great concept. That discussion is coming, I promise.

In the meantime, I loved what artist and critic Susana Jacobson wrote about my work in the show currently on exhibit at the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery. I was flattered by her words of course but also so enchanted by her suggestion of the all-seeing body, its pores employed with their own kind of seeing:

Deborah Barlow’s newest paintings are sensually generous offerings of luminous color. Like wet light tossed up and caught in acts of implication, they conjure the multiple sensations experienced when our physical boundaries are dissolved. Merging with places where nature and culture intersect, Barlow converts her powers of observation to the experience of vision as a whole body sensation, as though her pores could see.

And some good news—the show has been extended through August. Heading that way now to do a few days of gallery talks and events.

You can read another review of the show by David St. Lascaux at Interrupting Infinity.

Still riding high after a great weekend and art opening in Brooklyn. Thank you to Martine Bisagni and Amani Ansari for their Herculean effort to pull off a great event. More pictures coming* (I was too busy talking to take any during the opening to take my own) but here are a few of the installation.

Window full of Rina Peleg “babies”—her work is enchanting in any size. (These forms are actually woven out of clay…)

The Trilla series, in the front gallery

Finding a common language: The “Ticellita” series speaks with Rina’s large orb

Installation view of the front wall

In the alcove, a larger painting (Passente) is coupled with a large crackle glazed orb

The BWG garden


My art buddies, Paula Overbay and Elizabeth Mead

View from the garden

Friend, artist and advocate extraordinaire, Elizabeth Mead

*A few more photos have surfaced: You can view images taken by Martine Bisagni here.

Back gallery, Brooklyn Workshop Gallery (Photo: Martine Bisagni)

Brooklyn Workshop Gallery curator Martine Bisagni in my studio choosing work for the show that opens this weekend.

I’m in New York for the opening of my show in Brooklyn this weekend. I’ll be back online on Monday.

This is a heads up about my upcoming exhibit opening in Brooklyn on Saturday June 26. I am very excited to be showing (mostly) new paintings along with the stunning sculptures of Rina Peleg.

The artist reception starts at 7pm on the 26th—an event that is being described by gallery director Martine Bisagni rather provocatively as a “Midsummer Revel”—so I hope you can stop by.

Paintings by Deborah Barlow
Sculpture by Rina Peleg
Curated by Martine Bisagni

Brooklyn Workshop Gallery
393 Hoyt Street
Brooklyn NY 11231
718 797 9427

A word about Brooklyn Workshop Gallery:
Brooklyn Workshop Gallery and the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery Foundation are committed to bringing art making and audiences closer together. In addition to a gallery space, BWG offers programs, classes and community outreach to promote the experience of art for everyone.

Japanese calligraphy, beautiful in its inexplicable mystery (From the LACMA collection)

Beauty is not a concept. …Beauty harmonizes consciousness from top to bottom. It is as organically vital as digestion. Beauty is, or ought to be, no big deal, though the lack of it is. Without regular events of beauty, we live estranged from existence, including our own.

—Peter Schjeldahl

Yesterday I had an engaging and thoughtful conversation with art impresario/gallery directory/arts and community advocate/photographer Martine Bisagni. Ever the visionary, Martine’s latest project is the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery and associated Brooklyn Workshop Gallery Foundation. More about that undertaking will be forthcoming here.

Our conversation was far ranging but of course (it seems to be my inevitable proclivity) we touched down on beauty. I’ve written about this particular portion of the art terrain many times on this blog (do a search on beauty for a long list of posts). This quote from the New Yorker‘s Schjeldahl seems like a good addition.