Australian modernist Dorothy Braund pursued simplicity. It, in her own words, “knocked” her out – “There’s no chance for accidental effects. If you are simple everything has to relate and work”. This preoccupation led her to compose images more musical than visual, hymns about people, places and activities.
In this trio of bathers, Braund’s pays homage to the great Australian pastime of hitting the beach. Her rendition however, is gently satirical and lightly experimental. Pared back to warming boulders of flesh, her bathers look like baby chicks huddled under a lightbulb.
In 1964, art critic Bernard Shaw described Braund’s work as lively, “linked with a shrewd and civilised eye for the bizarre and comical” – simple, does not always necessitate seriousness. In fact, by seeing the world as an orchestra of forms, Braund detected its notes of absurdity, vulnerability, warmth and beauty like few others. Her use of colour, almost “savage in its brightness” delights and disorientates, like twirling across a dancefloor.
Represented across state collections, Braund is an important part of Australian modernism. She was a member of George Bell’s School, the only woman to exhibit alongside Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd and others in 1953 and as Shaw noted, “masterly in her own way”. For collectors of modern art and work by women, she is a must.
Dorothy BRAUND (1926 - 2013)
watercolour on paper
Image Size: 11 x 18 cm
Dimensions: 33 x 37 cm
© The Artist or Assignee