Joe Sheftel Gallery is proud to present May I Draw, Judith Braun’s first solo exhibition in New York since 2008. Braun’s process emphasizes her position as a “quantum amplifier.” Utilizing three simple rules to make her drawings – Symmetry, Abstraction and Carbon Medium – she is intent on capturing the possibilities and probabilities of the quantum realm, where everything is in free fall until it is caught…by a viewer, or the artist.
Accordingly, Braun initiates her drawing with abstract lines, free of definitive form. The abstraction is then mirrored to achieve symmetry, becoming precise and orderly. Braun chooses carbon mediums, graphite and charcoal, because these limited materials offer infinite gradations of light and dark. She is also attracted to carbon’s crystalline molecular structure, which under the right conditions can become a diamond. Braun explains, “Working within constraints prompts a proliferation of possibilities that self-organize into groups and subgroups, from which I then choose some to render carefully by hand, with diamond dust.”
This show presents drawings from the Portal, Orbital, Rimming and Lanternal groupings, all part of Braun’s ongoing Symmetrical Procedures series. This series also includes her Fingering works, in which Braun dips her fingers into charcoal and uses her body as the drawing instrument. Aware that the medium and her body are made of the same carbon material, she exploits the natural symmetries of bodily gestures to create a vocabulary of marks and patterns, seeking surprise through repetition.
Judith Braun, then going by the name Judith Weinperson, first showed in New York in 1988 in Group Material’s Democracy show at Dia Art Foundation, followed by solo presentations at White Columns and On The Wall Gallery. In the early ’90s she participated in shows at The Drawing Center, New York, curated by Ann Philbin; Art in General, New York, curated by Holly Block; and American Fine Arts, New York, with Colin De Land, among many others. She was likewise featured in the Bad Girls show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, curated by Marcia Tucker. More recently Braun has had solo shows at Fruit and Flower Deli, New York, and Galerie Conrads in Düsseldorf, Germany, and group shows in Spain, Vienna, and Berlin. She is currently showing in Graphite at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.