Exactly 20 years ago, master artist Fernando Botero gave Medellín and the country a large donation of works of art that today are a source of pride and part of Colombia’s cultural heritage, a collection like few others in Latin America that is visited by travelers from all over the world, and that has placed Medellín on the continent’s cultural horizon. In synchrony with this celebration, the Duque Arango Gallery joins this year of commemorations to the great Colombian masters by honoring the life and work of its most important representative and international ambassador, Fernando Botero (Medellin, 1932).
This exhibition is composed of drawings, paintings and sculptures made by Botero between 1969 and 2018, each decade exemplified by representative pieces from each of these periods. As if it were a modest retrospective of those six decades, this exhibition includes emblematic works from series such as bullfighting (with El picador and La estocada from 1984), the circus (with two pieces from 2007), portraits, female nudes, still lifes, versions of art history (a tribute to Velázquez from 1975), and his reminiscences of the Antioquia of his youth.
Furthermore, to complement the broad panorama that can be recognized in his recurring themes, the works presented here are created in almost all of the media Botero worked in throughout his life, ranging from oil on canvas, watercolor, drawing and pastel on paper, bronze sculpture and a spectacular terracotta bust. This compendium of works (some of which are being exhibited for the first time in Colombia) were all created by the artist in his various ateliers in New York, Monaco, Paris and Pietrasanta.
Thus, this exhibition-homage manages to produce a complete panorama of his production in terms of themes, artistic techniques and periods represented, allowing us to understand the process of his tireless and prolific work, and also the cosmopolitan character of his production, that value that precisely deserves all his recognition and makes him an artist of universal stature.