Preeminent realist painter Claudio Bravo’s (Chilean, 1936 – 2011) adept techniques are signature to his elevation of everyday subjects including human figures, still lifes, portraits, animals, drapery, and colored papers.

Les Baigneurs (The Bathers) (1984) by Claudio BravoKemper Museum of Contemporary Art

With cascading light sources and soft mark making Bravo captures foremost a grounded mood that then resonates deeply with his chosen subjects. Here two young men bask in the sun looking relaxed. The direct gaze of one of the figures is at the viewer, creating this interesting closing of the circle between viewer and subject in this tranquil scene.

Potro Rojo (1997) by Claudio BravoKemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Animals were among Claudio Bravo’s subjects particularly after moving to Tangier, Morocco in 1972.

The realism of his work is sparked with a sense of warmth and never without some type of gesture — even if very small as in the rear leg of the horse slightly lifted — that imbues his works with movement and life.

Bread (1995) by Claudio BravoKemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Claudio Bravo’s lithographs are as skillfully done as his graphite drawings. While a simple composition of whole and sliced bread Bravo takes it even further by depicting the reflection of the loaves the table’s surface. In this work Bravo also gives this still-life the feel of a landscape.

A large portion of negative space exists above the horizon line-like motif indicated by the horizontal positioning of the bread and the crusty top of the breads like rolling terrain.

Still Life with Shoes (1993) by Claudio BravoKemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Some of Claudio Bravo’s still-life works resonate with portraiture. The universal yet very personal objects like shoes begin to tell viewers more about the subject and perhaps a little bit about the time frame of when this person lived.

For example, these are an older style of Nike shoes and given they appear to have been removed in haste tell us the subject may have been in a bit of a rush.

Stones and Mortar (1989) by Claudio BravoKemper Museum of Contemporary Art

This quiet domestic still-life scene provides us perhaps with a little bit of a narrative.

This person may like to collect things as evidenced by the rocks piled up inside the mortar placed on the small table.

We can also see that the light source is coming in more intensely from the left side of the composition as the leaves of the plant arch toward that location. We can see from this work also the Claudio Bravo is adept at including color in his drawings.

Credits: Story

Curated by Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Credits: All media
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