The Baroque World of Fernando Botero

The Baroque World of Fernando Botero

by John Sillevis
     
 

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Colombian-born Fernando Botero (b. 1932) is a painter, sculptor, and draftsman renowned for his extravagantly rounded figures combining the polish and excess of Spanish colonial baroque with the social realism of the Mexican muralists. Their humorous exaggeration belies the more serious content of Botero’s work—commentary on colonialism, political

Overview

Colombian-born Fernando Botero (b. 1932) is a painter, sculptor, and draftsman renowned for his extravagantly rounded figures combining the polish and excess of Spanish colonial baroque with the social realism of the Mexican muralists. Their humorous exaggeration belies the more serious content of Botero’s work—commentary on colonialism, political instability in Latin America, and the vernacular artistic traditions of the region, as well as European art history. 

Accompanying the artist’s first American retrospective in over thirty years, The Baroque World of Fernando Botero is the most extensive study of his life and work to date. Drawn exclusively from Botero’s private collection, the 100 works featured in this book, including previously unpublished paintings and drawings, represent the full scope of his oeuvre from a uniquely personal perspective. Many of these—portraits of friends and family members and remembered scenes—have remained in the artist’s possession since their creation, while others he has bought back over the years as markers of significant developments in his career. Three essays examine the artist’s creative life, from the aesthetic environment in which Botero developed his unique style to his catalyzing influence on the Colombian art world of the 1960s and 70s.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Coffee aside, Fernando Botero may be Colombia's most popular export. Since 2000, no fewer than 14 books have been published on the work of this highly prolific contemporary artist. This catalog, which accompanies an exhibition traveling nationwide through 2009, includes 100 objects (paintings, drawings, sculpture) from the artist's personal collection and spans the breadth of his career (1959-2005). It represents the first major American retrospective of Botero's work since 1974, though several recent books document facets of his oeuvre, e.g., Botero: Womenand Botero: Abu Ghraib. Although it has been some time since a publication looked at Botero's work over time, the thematic arrangement of this catalog resists a chronological reading. As a counterbalance, three accompanying essays by Sillevis (chief curator, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague), guest curator of the exhibition; David Elliott (director, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo); and Edward J. Sullivan (fine arts & humanities, NYU; Language of Objects in the Art of the Americas) help to present a wide-angle view of the artist. Sillevis's object text draws deeply on Botero's life and helpfully includes published references. Recommended for libraries with contemporary art collections.
—Kraig Binkowski

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300123593
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Pages:
283
Product dimensions:
9.75(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

John Sillevis is chief curator of the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. David Elliott is director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. Edward J. Sullivan is professor of fine arts and dean of humanities at New York University and author of the forthcoming Language of Objects in the Art of the Americas (Yale).

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