Ambience and Eternity: Artists Deborah Barlow and Rina Peleg

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Deborah Barlow paintings and Rina Peleg ceramics. Photo courtesy Brooklyn Workshop Gallery.

20 July 2010

by David St.-Lascaux

Brooklyn’s ever-expanding gallery scene has a bright new denizen: The Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, situated in a beautiful raw brick storefont on a quiet Carroll Gardens area street. The gallery, owned by Martine Bisagni, is focused on neighborhood outreach and cultural events such as the “Violin Kids for World Harmony” concert on July 3, 2010, and the “Plein Air Painting Workshop at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery with Cristiana Depedrini” on July 10-11, 2010.

The gallery’s first public show (the “Midsummer Show”) is a two-person exhibition of the ethereal painter Deborah Barlow and versatile ceramicist Rina Peleg. Barlow’s abstract liquid atmospheric canvases are coated in a process that yields the appearance of ceramic glaze. Her organic earth/air/water/fire color schemes evoke southwestern Native American Zuni palettes (among civilization’s best so far). The compositions themselves appear to be dripped watercolors and layered transparent glass and even metal. Rusts, turquoises, ochres, pale chartreuses and slates combine to massage the visual cortex. These works are ambient and subtle, perhaps to a fault.

Peleg’s objects, which she calls “Earth Web,” are mainly spheres ranging from wasp nest to medicine ball scale. Made of interwoven ceramic “ropes” imitating natural lianas, these are glazed and fired in a process that also has some mystery given the coverage of the glazes. The interweaving also varies, imbuing these works with the qualities of cosmic eggs, utilitarian baskets, and seaside sand- and sunbleached sea urchins. These works represent a unique addition to Peleg’s œuvre, which spans decades, and includes such diverse and impressive works as “Child’s Dream” (1995), “Pyramid” (1999) and “Zula” (2010).

Barlow and Peleg nicely complement each other’s work – Barlow adding color and environmental envelopment to Peleg’s three-dimensional artefacts, creating the atmosphere of an archæological site. The works of both artists present a refreshing naturalistic, pre- and non-verbal experience, an irenic, mind-cleansing relief in today’s media- and message-overloaded society. The exhibition will run through August 2010.

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One Response to “Ambience and Eternity: Artists Deborah Barlow and Rina Peleg”

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

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