The “hand” enters Brice’s work as a repeated motif beginning in the 1970’s and persists into the 1990’s. It is nearly always depicted with the palm facing outward and with fingers stretched upright, or outright if the hand is on its side. In the 1970’s, the hand appears as if chiseled from stone and with its fingers broken off; suggesting fragmentary from an ancient statuary? This early iteration is often turned on its side or facing downwards at skewed angles. By the late 1980’s, the hand may also be depicted as flesh and blood and in a gesture similar to the Buddhist Abhaya Murdrā (of protection, peace, benevolence, and dispelling of fear.).
The exceptions to Brice’s forward facing, open palm hand, are seen in two 1970’s paintings in which a ‘disembodied’ small hand, with fingers curled inwards, reaches downward into the painting from the top of the work. Brice remarked in his 1986 MoCA Walkthrough that these are visual quotes he took from a painting by Giotto that he had especially been taken with. The Giotto painting is most likely Joachim’s Sacrificial Offering, which depicts the hand of God reaching down towards Joachim.
Typically, the hand expresses the reach of our consciousness and desire on the world. The hand discharges our will for both creative and destructive ends: love, industry, invention, self-expression or for defense and aggression. In religions, the hand of God denotes divine intervention and deliverance.