Here is a painter... dedicated to notions of process and technique. Her disregard for pat formalism and her easy embrace of a murky abstraction gives the work a soulful, sympathetic sensibility that is rare to find in such an obsessive technician... One risks confounding the senses even before peeling back the first layer of brusque sensuality that clings to the surface of her paintings.
Deborah Barlow's stunning works bring to mind microscopic forms, or moonscapes, or simply nonrepresentational images of color, texture, and scale that you can get lost in. Through an unexpected combination of pigments, metallic powders and a variety of substrates, her paintings wonderfully suggest the complexity of a multi-layered and visually rich world... Barlow keeps inching out beyond the commonly shared version of reality. What is above and beyond our own reach? That's where she keeps heading.
Barlow's paintings are sensual...she paints handsome, crusty, glistening abstractions..
The Boston Phoenix
These works are ambient and subtle...a refreshing naturalistic, pre- and non-verbal experience, an irenic, mind-cleansing relief in today's media- and message-overloaded society.
Deborah Barlow's newest paintings are sensually generous offerings of luminous color... 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.
University of Pennsylvania
Barlow combines minimalism and "maximalism" to fuse a unique vision…A deep sense of form underlies the complex, nonobjective picture plane, linking the work to landscape and elements of nature...while Barlow's surfaces are highly active...there is no trace of brushwork, adding to the mystery of the process…Her creativity celebrates visual language as a transformative, primitive, and elemental power.
Art New England
Her paintings are compelling and able to draw one from a distance, in an instant. When one moves close, the surface loses none of its initial impact. There is a deepening of layers of paint and meaning as you move inside a Barlow painting.
Curator, Kemper Museum
These are magical explorations...The intelligence and sensitivity I saw years ago is still present in her work, and has matured into an even deeper statement.