November 7 - December 12, 2021
Los Angeles, CA--Stairwell LA presents Constant Relation, a series of works by Leonardo Bravo that explore metaphoric mappings of a collision of histories, voices, imaginings, and incantations.
Bravo’s paintings evoke modernist geometric abstraction through complex structures and systems in saturated colors that suggest a constant state of becoming and unfolding. The entanglement of these structures alludes to an architecture of time and space in which forms continue to build and collapse upon each other, emanating new relationships, and suggesting pathways that open up to limitless possibilities, questions, and complexities.
Inherent in the works is a visual tension suggested by the relationship of each color form to the other, and the way negative space becomes a counterpoint to each fixed shape. Bravo’s searching and indexing create a push and pull between color, pattern, and form, alluding to states of fluidity, transition, and continuous movement making references to moments and places--sometimes deeply personal and vulnerable, and sometimes longing for a certain time and place. The individual works could be seen as portals --some to the nostalgia of the past--some to newly imagined futures.
“They conjure a deep attunement to my sensation of joy and wonder, of unfettered liberation, of boundary traversions, and the ultimate freedom of shapeshifting.”
The visual influences in Bravo’s work echo symbol systems and patterns seen in Andean and Mapuche textiles collected by his father in Chile, as well as cues from a variety of sources including: Bauhaus master weavers Gunta Stolzl and Ani Albers, and the Tropicália movement in Brazil embodied by Jorge Ben Jor, Caetano Veloso, and Helio Oiticica.
This work will continue to develop through a residency at Stairwell where new works will be created on-site. The gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 AM to 5 PM by appointment only. Please call or text stairwell at 213.700.0700 or email email@example.com.
Leonardo Bravo is a Los Angeles based artist who grew up in the South of Chile. Bravo earned his BFA from OTIS Institute of Art & Design and MFA from the University of Southern California. Over the last few years, his works have been exhibited at Elephant Gallery, Los Angeles, Charlie James Gallery, The Architects Collective, BKB Art & Design, Palm Springs, Mount San Jacinto College, Cerritos College Art Gallery, and Luis De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles. Bravo is also founder of Big City Forum, an interdisciplinary, social practice and curatorial research project that brings attention to emergent practices across design, architecture, and the arts. Big City Forum provides an ongoing exploration of the intersections between these creative disciplines and new ways of knowledge making within the context of public space and social change. As a programming and curatorial platform it has developed collaborations and partnerships with Art Center Media Design Practice program, the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Cal State University Dominguez Hills – College of Arts and Humanities, Camino Nuevo Charter Schools, and Woodbury University School of Architecture among many others.
Stories that Move
September 11, 18 and 25
Big City Forum presents Stories that Move in collaboration with Stairwell LA and artist collaborators Leonardo Bravo, Reina Imagawa, Jeremy Rosenberg, and Cynthia Vargas.
During this month-long free online series, Leonardo Bravo facilitates the exchange of ideas by bringing attention to the intersection between artists, culture makers, and social justice.
Friday, September 11 at 4pm on Zoom
Lilliana Castro is a multidisciplinary designer based in Los Angeles, California. As a feminist, lesbian, and activist with a grassroots and punk-rock approach, her design projects center around empowering Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (QTBIPOC). Lilliana was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and immigrated to the U.S. in ‘89. Her design journey began at Pasadena City College (PCC), and graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in 2008. In 2010 she founded Archeffect Design, to unite her passion for graphic design and architecture, on the premise that the role of the designer is a facilitator rather than an expert. Lilliana prioritizes giving back to her community as part of her design journey through uplifting others. Her work has been experienced at the Architecture + Design Museum ‘Come In Les Femmes’, the Coachella Music & Arts Festival 2012, EDC Las Vegas 2013, Coachella Music & Arts Festival 2014, and most recently the 1st place award winner of the Yes to ADU Design Competition in Los Angeles to alleviate the humanitarian crisis of homelessness. archeffectdesign.com
Friday, September 18 at 4pm on Zoom
Chinwe Okona is a multidisciplinary artist and actor based in Los Angeles, California. Her work investigates the palpability of sentiment, nostalgia, and forgiveness, and centers self-documentation as the implement of memory creation. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2013 and is currently attending the USC Marshall School of Business. More recently she has exhibited at Limited Space Gallery, Office & Space Gallery, and Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as the MexiCali Biennial 2018 - 2020. chinweokona.com
Friday, September 25 at 3pm
Susan Silton is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her projects respond to resonant political and social landscapes, often through poetic combinations of humor, discomfort, subterfuge and unabashed beauty. These projects mine the complexities of subjectivity and subject positions in a range of media, including performative and participatory-based works, photography, video, installation, text/audio works, and offset lithography. Her work has been exhibited/presented nationally and internationally at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; LAXART, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum; ICA/ Philadelphia; MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, among others. susansilton.com
July 17 - August 22
Dog Glove Hand
Glove Hand Dog
Commonwealth and Council
Hand Dog Glove
Big City Festival Stories that Move
July 31 - August 2 at 2PM (PST)
Big City Forum brings together culture makers, activists, change agents, and creative visionaries to explore the role of art in building a strong democracy and collaboratively shaping a better future.
This pilot program will highlight the power of stories to heal, transform, and catalyze our actions towards a new sense of knowledge making as we encounter tremendous personal and collective upheavals due to the pandemic. Stories that Move is a collaboration with Stairwell LA and artist collaborators Leonardo Bravo, Reina Imagawa, Jeremy Rosenberg, and Cynthia Vargas.