The exhibition offers an opportunity to view a varied selection of works by the late Chilean-born Hyperrealist master. By bringing together pastel still lives, graphite drawings as well as his oil paintings, the grouping conveys the scope of his virtuosity as well as an overview of his storied career. Sensuous as well as serious, Claudio Bravo’s humble objects—food, baskets, candlesticks, crumpled paper—are depicted so carefully and regally that they trancend their “ordinary” status. A majority of the works were created in Morocco, where he spent the final decades of his remarkable life.
Claudio Bravo, who died in 2011, was unquestionably one of the greatest realist painters of his time. As one could claim that the hallmarks of Bravo’s work regardless of the subject are simplicity and elegance. Nowhere is this more visible than in his last works which were devoted to paintings of colored papers. The late Gerrit Henry described Bravo’s work in Art in America's “astonishing and riveting” and said his “paintings are praiseworthy in their fidelity to both the homely and the rare and for their rapt declamation of technical values that somehow bespeak the spiritual.” In Bravo’s show of drapery paintings at Marlborough, Ken Johnson in The New York Times spoke of their “transcendental grace” and called his work “a tantalizing mix of the spiritual and the sensual.” One could surmise that it was Bravo’s uncanny control of space and light that was central to his work and that gave his paintings their “evocative calmness” and their “hallucinatory reality of a dream.”
Works by Bravo can be found in the collections of museums around the world including: Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Nacional de Bellas Arte, Santiago, Chile; Museum Boymans-van Beunigen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Rufino Tamayo Museum of International Contemporary Art, Mexico.
In 1996 Bravo received the prestigious Gold Medal of Honor from Casita Maria settlement house of New York, in 2000 he received the “Art Miami International Distinguished Artist” award and in 2007 he represented Chile in the Venice Biennale.