Dorothy Braudy is an established East Coast painter who has taught at Pratt and shown her realistic genre scenes extensively. A suite called "Signs of Rescue" has the feel of work in transition. There's something tenuous and groping about the way Braudy handles both figuration and the fauvish compartments of color she uses to build her narratives. She says she picked rescue scenes for their portent and tension, the least resolved works convey a saccharine, slightly contrived emotionalism instead.

Braudy seems to be after a link-up of means and message, her pulsating technique mirroring and compounding edgy content. Sometimes form gets so unreined that we question her draftsmanship, as in the disjointed anatomy of a hand reaching in the canvas to pet a canine in "Good Girl." Other times, the storyline is maudlin, as in "Blue Flood," where the convincing figure of a man is undermined by the almost greeting card lamb he rescues.

If indeed this is a transition, challenging old habits is always commendable. In "Woman Watching" and especially in several small dog images worked into what looks to be craggy wet rhoplex to look like ancient frescos, Braudy hints that the new direction holds promise. (Orlando Gallery, 14553 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, to Dec. 31.)

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