The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, May 21, 2018

Christie's to offer painting with the masterful illusionism and the luminous vitality of Claudio Bravo
Claudio Bravo, Psalterium, 1998. Oil on canvas, 78½ x 59 in. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

NEW YORK, NY.- "I'm not a religious artist," Bravo once acknowledged, "but like great non-Catholic composers who wrote masses, I feel comfortable doing religious paintings."[1] Raised in a conservative Catholic environment and educated by Jesuits in his native Chile, Bravo developed an early interest in Spanish mystical spirituality, fostered by his readings of John of the Cross and Teresa de Ávila. He gravitated toward the religious painters of the Spanish Golden Age, notably Francisco de Zurbarán, during his formative years in Madrid, but it was his removal to Tangier in 1972 that most enriched his understanding of the divine. "The intensity of spiritual vision which was already inherent in Bravo's imagination was both underscored and transformed through his contacts with the Islamic world," Edward Sullivan has remarked. "The concentration of emotional force with which Bravo is faced through his contacts with everyday life in Morocco has served, more than anything else, as a catalyst to reinvigorate his predisposition for seeing the world through a veil of spirituality."[2]

Bravo cycled back to religious themes toward the end of his career, revealing a metaphysical and contemplative turn of mind as he considered the nature and nuance of an "old-age" style. With an eye to the expressive pathos of late Titian and Velázquez, he sought to distill his painting to essences of dissolved light and color, evoking an increasingly clarified poetics of form. This pursuit of painterly classicism has an important source as well in Bravo's study of antique sculptural forms. "I am deeply interested in calibration or harmony, something that also stems from my interest in the ancients," he explained. "I am interested in the classical ideal of perfection . . . perfection in terms of philosophy."[3] An enduring classicizing impulse does permeate Bravo's late paintings, channeling an intense and emotional aesthetic experience that suggests an intimate meditation both on the nature of painting and on life itself.

Psalterium belongs to a series of paintings of luscious, draped fabrics that Bravo worked on between 1997 and 2002. Christened with religious titles--Benedictus, Offertorio, Annunciation--the series renders the sacred tantalizingly sensual through masterful illusionism and the luminous vitality of richly saturated, jewel-toned colors. A lyrical exegesis of the Book of Psalms, comprised of 150 songs and prayers that serve in Judeo-Christian ritual and worship, Psalterium interprets the poetics of Biblical verse through cascading color harmonies. The streamlined folds of painted fabric recall the timeless elegance of classical drapery: pleats of emerald green, topaz yellow, amethyst violet, and tourmaline pink brilliantly incarnate the spiritual wisdom and divinity embedded in their source. Here in the formal rhythms set by the fabric's billowing folds and creases, Bravo translates the emotional journey of the psalms, which move from songs of lamentation to those of praise and thanksgiving, into a moving panegyric of color and light.

--Abby McEwen, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

1) Claudio Bravo, quoted in Edward J. Sullivan, Claudio Bravo (New York: Rizzoli, 1985), 76.
2) Edward J. Sullivan, "Obsession and Meditation: A Decade of Work by Claudio Bravo," Claudio Bravo: Paintings and Drawings (1964/2004) (New York: Rizzoli, 2005), 256.
3) Bravo, quoted in "Conversation with Edward Sullivan," Claudio Bravo: Paintings and Drawings (1964/2004), 146.

Today's News

May 20, 2012

German-born photographer and playboy Gunter Sachs art collection to be auctioned

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts hosts first North American retrospective of the work by Tom Wesselmann

The Beatles' Abbey Road rare backwards photo up for auction at Bloomsbury in London

Rita McBride undresses the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona architecture

From Georgiana to Boy George: Hats made by Stephen Jones on view at the Bowes Museum

"A Short History of Photography: From the ICP Collection" honoring Willis E. Hartshorn, Ehrenkranz Director

SFMOMA curator authors first publication on Vatican Library's photography collection

Fearsome mask sells for exceptional price in Bonhams Fine Japanese Art Sale

Christie's to offer painting with the masterful illusionism and the luminous vitality of Claudio Bravo

Historical timepieces signed by Breguet generate strong interest from international collectors

"A Sense of Place, New Jewellery from Northern Lands" opens at the Grand Gallery, National Museum of Scotland

Family portraits by the distinguished German photographer Thomas Struth on view at the National Portrait Gallery

Klik Systems create innovative LED system for "luminous" interactive public art platform in Sydney, Australia

Pianist's art, jewels auctioned in New York

New Museum presents Stanya Kahn as part of the Stowaways Series

"Living Treasures of North Carolina Craft" on view at the Fuller Craft Museum

Ruth Ewan announced as CREATE Art Award 2012 winner

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful