Judith Braun at McKenzie Fine Art Gallery

Homeostasis is the current solo exhibition of Judith Braun’s charcoal and graphite drawings at McKenzie Fine Art Gallery. This work is all part Braun’s series titled “Symmetrical Procedures”, a long term commitment to the exploration of symmetry. Since 2003 the artist has been creating abstract drawings that use the rich gray scale attainable through the use carbon based materials. On one wall of the gallery there is a particularly intriguing installation. Four square framed drawings are presented within a large wall drawing.
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Each of the four squares contains a circular figures with order-8 rotational symmetry. Here are two examples:

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“Symmetrical Procedure” NE-21-3, 2014, Graphite on Dura-lar
Picture courtesy of the gallery

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“Symmetrical Procedure” NE-21-4, 2014, Graphite on Dura-lar
Picture courtesy of the gallery

In these examples there is a secondary symmetry, each of the eight lace-like elements around the central circle possess reflection symmetry. The intricate use of positive and negative space in this work demonstrates the complexity and richness that can be achieved with just black and white.

The wall drawing, in contrast, uses the gray scale to allow the large circles to fade away into the top of the wall. There is an allusion to the underlying symmetry of the forms, but it is incomplete. The lower of the two circles has the semi-circles forming on the exterior. The upper circle has the semi- circles going into the interior. This is a great demonstration of convex and concave curves. The marks of this drawing are the artist finger print, created by the artist pressing her charcoal covered finger directly on to the wall to create varying shades of grey. This tactile method creates an emotional connection to the viewer, adding another more human element to the exhibition.

McKenzie Fine Art Gallery is at 55 Orchard Street. Judith Braun’s exhibition is up through April 24.

Susan Happersett

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