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Minus Space: A Champion for Reductivism in the Center of the Art Market

By Jim Caton

Minus Space may be a gallery dedicated to the pared-down genre of Reductivist art, but in the twelve years since its founding, it has grown considerably. What began as an online curator site in 2003 has since evolved into perhaps the world's center for the neo-minimalist movement known as Reductivism.

With a charming and spacious new location on the ground floor of the old Stable Building in Dumbo, Brooklyn, Minus Space has accumulated an impressive inventory of art in a variety of media.

Even when operating Minus Space as a curator website, Deleget found being located in New York to be vital to his project, and he believes that the new location in Brooklyn, particularly the gentrified area dubbed Dumbo, puts the gallery in the middle of the action.

"New York remains one of the premiere art capitals of the world. It also happens to be the center of the art market," Deleget says. "Although increasingly challenging due to rising rents for apartments and, more importantly studios, the city continues to attract countless artists each year from all over the globe. This injects new energy and ideas into the art scene here over and over again. New York is therefore never static, but rather continually in flux."

But what exactly is Reductivism? A visit to Wikipedia will provide a somewhat generic definition, but Deleget (who claims to have coined the term) has a more nuanced explanation of the movement some see as derivative of the earlier Minimalism. Inclusivity seems to be the key- inclusivity of both design and of the artists themselves.

"Reductive art is generally characterized by its use of plainspoken materials, monochromatic or limited color, geometry and pattern, repetition and seriality, precise craftsmanship, and intellectual rigor," he says. "Our approach is inclusive and pluralistic, including by geographic location, age, gender, medium, and content of work. This is distinctly different than the Minimalism of our parents' generation."

Minus Space has set the date of May 30 for its grand opening in its new location. Perhaps bridging the gap between past and present, between Minimalism and Reductivism, their opening will feature the work of artist Robert Swain.

"For the past 40 years, Robert has been researching color and has developed a nearly 5,000-part color system organized by hue, value, and saturation", Deleget says with enthusiasm. "And he employs this system to make large-scale, totally immersive color field paintings that are utterly transcendent. His paintings affect me intellectually, physically, and emotionally. When I seem them, I'm able to step outside of myself for a moment, held in a kind of suspended animation. They're sublime."

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An English teacher for twenty-five years, first at a college near Buffalo and then at...

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