Imaginal Landscapes

June 15th 2017 Comments: 4 Topics: , , ,

A 35 year retrospective of David Keith Braly’s works on paper and canvas now hangs in the Johnson Center for the Arts in Troy, Alabama.
Oh what a life!
My colleagues and I marvel at the life and times of our friend David Braly who embarked on an education and years of teaching abroad.
The first to drop everything and travel or host a stellar dinner party or pick up the check, we’ve sworn he is painting counterfeit money — as well he could.
We call it “Living the life of Braly”.
I first met David in the fall of 1975 in architecture studio at Auburn University. Little did I know he would become my oldest friend and my cohort and my real education.
Architect and artist, David possesses the rare disciplines of a master draftsman and visionary painter. In his work is a library pass to banks of knowledge and worlds unknown overlaid as the mind might combine and carry time and visual memory colliding in shear and simultaneous realities.
In this way, the work becomes more real in its complexity than any one image can capture. I’ve come to think of my own life more in the way David paints in that I am every age I’ve ever been.
David’s work, when met with scale, often silkilly tattoos a cerebral swim to entire passages and containments within the architecture of private and public chambers. ¬†Transportive in nature these rooms come to nearing a foggy reality or dream state.
In my life I was given a fine fascinating friend who never tires of weaving a flat tapestry of informed longings.
It is a good day to draw on one thing while David draws on another.  We are, side by side, mentally traveling from a table on a porch, on another Alabama summer day feeling as if we have only just begun.
View these images and put your toe in the water. It’s a trip!


Bobby McAlpine

The Retrospective, entitled “Imaginal Histories: the Paintings and Drawings of David Braly”, is up through July 15.

A Roman fantasy with a plaster relief insert.

An interpretation of the Savannah City Hall layered with city plans, floor plans and a low country landscape.

Pencil drawing of Eton College architecture which was produced as a limited edition print to raise funds for the school’s art department.

Panorama of Rome from the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument.

Full scale rendering of a column capital of the Pantheon in charcoal on canvas.

“If We Had World Enough and Time” (acrylic on panel)

Acropolis (acrylic and graphite on panel)

Pantheon (acrylic and graphite on panel)

The Villa (acrylic on panel)

La Strata de Villa Gamberaia (acrylic on panel)

“We Have a View” (acrylic on panel of the Ponte Vecchio from the Piazza San Michelangelo)


  1. Allyson Kirkpatrick-Clark says:

    Absolutely mystical and gorgeous. These are emotional works that invoke feelings.
    So glad for the strokes of a hand rather than keyboard!

  2. gaines says:

    Sublime and ethereal but superfluous words as one knows that before seeing David’s work, a piece of which sits right in front of my drafting board, a cherished gift from David .
    and a constant reminder of what can be and was..

  3. Sean Mahan says:

    We have a view is amazing! Acrylic is not my favorite type of painting, but when well used, it can be wonderful (and that painting is proof of it!)

  4. Bill Kinane says:

    As a former student of David’s, his influence has no bounds. I am in awe of his artwork, but am most thankful for learning from him the importance of drawing as not just a means to an end, but a valuable part of the thinking process. Take the time, look away from your ‘rectangles’, and the results will be astonishing. So happy to have stumbled upon this post. Thank you David.

Leave a comment