The titan of Latin American art celebrates its 90th anniversary with a new show — Fernando Botero is still the master of volume

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HOuston’s Art of the World gallery commemorated the 90th birthday of renowned Colombian-born artist Fernando Botero with a retrospective art exhibition entitled “Celebrating 90 Years of Botero”. Gallery owners Liliana Molina and Mauricio Vallejo mounted an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and drawings by the artist titled The Master of Volume.

Botero is best known for his depiction of humans and animals as oversized, bloated figures – the defining characteristics of his signature style known as Boterismo.

Contemplation of Botero at the Art of the World Gallery (photo by Paul R. Davis)

With works ranging from small to monumental sizes, from canvases to sculptures, from the 1960s to as recently as 2021, the exhibition captures the full gamut of Botero’s illustrious career. Among the works highlighted are the expressionist-figurative painting of 1961 Nina. It has been joined by recent creations fresh out of the artist’s studio in Pietrasanta, Italy, including the design At the Bar and oil on canvas Men and women drinking.

Botero’s signature bronze sculptures were also on display, including dressed woman and Birdand his famous man on a horsea version which Christie’s New York sold at auction last March for $4,320,000.

One piece in particular caught our attention: The Calle – The Street, the largest oil painting Botero ever created and his only four-panel canvas. Portraying the upper and lower classes as contrasting figures of opposite sizes via his signature style, Botero subtly critiques consumerism and societal indulgence – a recurring theme in his work.

Frida Valentina catering, owned by the chef Adriana Avendanopaid homage to Botero’s home country of Colombia with Iglesias empanadas, pandebono con bocadillo (cheese bread with guava paste)Cheese arepas, patacon con carne, Colombian mini hotdogs and Antioqueño chorizo with papa criolla. Guests feasted on these appetizers while enjoying the Latin acoustic sounds and lounge vibe.

In total, more than 150 art lovers, including international and national collectors, attended the inauguration. The evening generated great interest and resulted in strong sales.

Juan Carlos Sardi, Shade Bowers (Photo by Paul R. Davis)
Juan Carlos Sardi, Shade Bowers (Photo by Paul R. Davis)

PC Scene: BeDesign’s Adrian Duenas and Marcelo Saenz, Juan Carlos Sardi with Shadow Bowers, Amelia and Spencer Howe, Virginia and Harold Marx, Diana and Don Quast, Lama and Samer Daniel, Carla and Tony Maraoui, Craig and Marion King, April and Dr. Jorge Salazar, Glen and Raquel Lewis, Claudia and Gary Stone, Carlos Kuri, Anne Barragán, John Powell and Jennifer Batchelor.

“Celebrating 90 Years of Botero” is on view this Saturday, June 18 at the Art of the World gallery at 2201 Westheimer Road. To learn more about this retrospective exhibition, click here.

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