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Order : New Paintings by Deborah Pelias 

New Orleans may be many things, but minimal it ain't. Given our local preference for organic clutter over stark simplicity, the Heriard-Cimino Gallery's longtime emphasis on minimalism may have been a bit of a gamble. If so, it seems to have paid off in the work of artists such as Deborah Pelias, whose abstract, near-monochromatic canvases come across as the opposite of the baroque flourishes that one might expect from a city that identifies itself so totally with the fleur de lis. But look again and there's a lot going on under those translucent surfaces with their mysterious covering and uncovering of repeated shapes in primarily muted tones. Seemingly stark when seen from a distance, their silky surfaces soon reveal a subtle patterning that somehow spans the gap between man and nature, East and West, the simple and the complex. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Through Feb. 10

Heriard-Cimino Gallery, 440 Julia St., 525-7300;

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