An ambitious exhibition boasting over 100 paintings and thousands of pounds of bronze sculpture, the Nevada Museum of Art presents the unforgettable works of Colombian painter, sculptor, and draftsman Fernando Botero in The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. One of the world’s most successful and celebrated artists working today, Botero’s work resonates with a political and social commentary that can be experienced throughout this exhibition, part of the first retrospective of Fernando Botero’s work in North America since 1974.
Drawn exclusively from Botero’s personal collection, the 100 works featured in this exhibition, including previously unpublished paintings and drawings, represent the full scope of his work from a uniquely personal perspective.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 from collectors over the years because they mark significant developments in his career. For example, Still Life with a Mandolin, painted in 1957, was the first time Botero enlarged the volume of the musical instrument in a manner now identified as the artists’ own style.
“This exhibition will be both thought-provoking and inspirational to audiences of all ages,” said David B. Walker, Executive Director and CEO of the Nevada Museum of Art. ”This is not only a show for those who appreciate modern and contemporary Latin American art but for those who are interested in world-history, religious commentary and political discussion. The intricate sculptures and paintings in this exhibition reflect Botero’s radical, unique and humorous style. From gigantic bronze sculptures to paintings, this exhibition is the perfect opportunity to experience Botero’s engaging and dramatic works.”
Botero’s exaggerated and rounded forms depict the comedy of human life – moving or wry, with mocking observation or with deep emotion. His first images drew upon the Spanish colonial baroque style, rich with decoration and flourish, gaudy angels and tormented saints. Some of the key works in the exhibition connect Botero’s own past with the present of his homeland, Colombia, as seen in Our Blessed Lady of Colombia, where Botero portrays himself as a small boy in the Lady’s arms, carrying his nation’s flag. Even more explicit are his shocking images of terror and violence, referring to the political instability, the attacks, the kidnappings, and the torture prevalent in his country.
Other important themes illustrated in the exhibition are the pomposity and misery of contemporary life in Latin America, including the pretentious affectation of presidents and first ladies as observed by Botero’s satirical eye. The exhibition also presents a section on everyday life in South America: women observed in the intimacy of their boudoir, street scenes, dance halls, and the suggestion of houses of ill repute.
The Baroque World of Fernando Botero will be exhibited May 1 through July 25, 2010 at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery located at 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Cost: Museum members free; $10 adults; $8 students/seniors; $1 children 6 – 12; free for children five and under. For more information, please call 775.329.3333 or visit www.nevadaart.org.
This exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, a nonprofit educational institution located in Alexandria, Virginia.