Judith Braun

Symmetrical Procedure #S-9-2
graphite on paper
12 x 12 in.

These drawings are made according to a set of self imposed guidelines: They are to be non-representational, adhere to bilateral symmetry, and be done on square paper with graphite pencil.

The formulation of these parameters serves several purposes. To begin, it helps me to transcend the routine contrivances of self expression, composition, style, and subject matter. Then I can focus on the process, one that involves experimentation and discovery. I chose these specific rules because they allow for infinite possibilities within their finite boundaries. That in itself, the dynamic confluence of choice and limitation, is part of what underlies and generates the drawings.

Symmetry is an extremely strong organizing force, as can be observed in both our macro and micro universes. In my drawings I am using symmetry to fine tune that tension between the massive and the minute, complexity and simplicity, randomness and specificity. My hypothesis is that if I conjoin those poles just right it might release some metaphoric and poetic resonance. Symmetry is like the “equal sign” in math and physics, bringing order to chaos.

I will also add that I am interested in vision itself, in the way that the eye perceives, in terms of our psyche seeking resolution and meaning, and the relationship of the physical process to the deeper psychological experience. I’m using the minimal format of these drawings as a way to explore these questions, because the sparseness of the images makes incremental differences have an impact I can observe and think about.

© Judith Braun