08 Sep – 04 Nov 2017
Fernando Botero, born in Medellín in 1932, is the most famous living artist of South America and one of the best known contemporary artists of the world. His distinctive pictorial language, which he developed in painting, drawing and sculpture, has been distinguishing his works since the late 1960s.
The voluminous overabundance of the human figures, but of animals and objects as well, in his paintings, drawings and sometimes monumental sculptures are not only highly recognizable. They are the result of Botero's in-depth study of the art history of the occident, the canon of art, and the cultural heritage of his South American home country. Thus he combines paraphrases of the great masters and the pictorial language of the baroque era and fallbacks on styles, such as Pablo Picasso's, with reminiscences of the typical shapes of pre-Columbian art to result in an equally humorous and ironic commentary on the evolution of art, on the possibility of depicting reality, and on the fundamental aesthetic question of art: What is beauty?
After his education in Colombia's capital Bogotá and study trips to Italy, Botero showed his first solo exhibition in Washington D.C. in 1957. In 1958 he became a professor of painting in Bogotá, a year later he was awarded the Guggenheim Prize. The artist moved to New York in 1960, where the Museum of Modern Art acquired one of his paintings the next year. In Germany, exhibitions of Fernando Botero's works have been shown since 1966, among other cities in Munich and Hannover. They were followed by numerous exhibitions in America and Europe. In 1973 Botero moved his studio from New York to Paris. He began developing and creating his first sculptures the same year. By the late 1970s his fame was consolidated, major retrospectives were presented in distinguished museums, for instance in Washington and in Tokyo. These were followed by exhibitions all over the world in quick succession. His monumental sculptures were presented on public places and boulevards in Florence, Paris, Tokyo, Madrid, Venice, Chicago, and New York. Galerie Thomas organised a major exhibition of Botero's monumental sculptures in Berlin in 2007.
The great interest and the number of exhibitions have been steadily increasing since then. The latest highlights were exhibitions in Peking and Shanghai in 2016, and 2017 in Rome. Overall, his biography lists far more than 100 solo exhibitions, many of those in outstanding international museums. Botero's works are represented in numerous public and private collections all over the world.
On the occasion of his 85th birthday this year, Galerie Thomas, which has been working with the artist for a long time and frequently exhibited his work, honours Fernando Botero with the current presentation.
Fernando Botero (english)•Galerie Thomas Modern 2017