Otho D. Branson

Paintings and Works on Paper

November 12 – December 23, 2022

Paintings and Works on Paper is the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Otho D. Branson's work. The exhibition presents paintings and works on paper made between 2006 and 2021. Each work begins with a root rectangle or square, generating a composition in harmony with itself, reaching a balanced equilibrium. The artist employs colors and grays following the gradations of hue, value, and chroma codified in the Munsell Color System, developed in the early 20th century to create a rational way to describe the full spectrum of colors and systematically illustrate color concepts for scientific research.

Branson's early work was firmly rooted in the tradition of classical figure and perspective drawing in graphite, charcoal, and ink on paper. In the 1990s Branson began to generate geometric compositions atop a preparatory sketch of diagonals, first working in acrylic on paper and moving into acrylic on masonite. Squares and rectangles evolve gently from one work to the next, creating sequential groups of works, each one a slight variation from the last. Branson's systematic approach provides a path toward freedom of expression within a series of self-imposed parameters or limitations.

Otho D. Branson (American, b. 1943) lives and works in Washington, DC. He studied at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1963 until 1967, later studying at the University of the District of Columbia in 1988 and the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2000. Branson received the Junior Painting Award from Philadelphia College of Art in 1965, the Summer Scholarship through the University of Rhode Island in 1966 and is a 2016 recipient of a Painters & Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.