Judith Braun was born in 1947 in Albany, New York. After high school she moved to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, then stayed on, living in the East Village during the Sixties. From communes, to cults, to domestic violence, Braun finally found her way back to school and got an MFA at the University at Albany, in 1983. On returning to New York she set up a live/work studio on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she remained until 2018. Braun now lives and works in her hometown of Albany.
Having begun as a realistic figurative painter after grad school, Braun soon became steeped in the notion of the personal as political, using humor and a contradiction-embracing vision to push the boundaries of materials, imagery and language. Her early photocopy work, Some Pussy, was first shown in Group Material’s iconic Democracy Show at Dia Art Foundation in 1988, and her solo show, Read My Pussy—her first large-scale photocopy installation—debuted at Souyun Yi Gallery, New York, in 1990. Shows at The Drawing Center, Art in General, White Columns, American Fine Arts, Co, and the notorious Bad Girls show at the New Museum, with the late Marcia Tucker, established Braun as an emerging artist in New York during the 1990s. During this period, the artist went by her then-married name, Weinman, and alternatively, Weinperson.
Returning to her birth surname in 2000, Braun pivoted toward a more conceptual search for selfhood, tapping into what she refers to as “the underlying structures of the universe” through her Symmetrical Procedures, a self-organizing system of drawings bound by three parameters: symmetry, abstraction and carbon medium. This mix of freedom and discipline nurtures both the wild and tame sides of the artist, as evidenced in her concurrent solo shows in 2016, Homeostasis at McKenzie Fine Art, and Crazy Bitch at Simuvac Projects. Since 2009, Braun’s Fingering series—large-scale, ephemeral wall drawings executed with her fingertips dipped in charcoal—have been created live in museums and galleries across the United States as well as abroad. Braun was a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2013 and an Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant in 2016. Her papers are archived with the Special Collection of Downtown New York Artists of the 1980s-90s at the Fales Library of New York University. Braun’s solo show, My Pleasure, will open at the Opalka Gallery in Albany, New York, in March of 2022.