Fernando Botero - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, May 27, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Tasende Gallery, Los Angeles
    Felipe Grimberg Fine Art, Miami
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Tasende Gallery, Botero in LA, Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture, September 14 - October 30, 2010, p. 17 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “There was a red-light district in Medellín at the time,” Fernando Botero reminisces of his precocious adolescence in Colombia. “It was an easy-going place; class lines blurred in a sort of never-ending carnival, a permanent street party.” If he sometimes “felt like [he] was the local Toulouse-Lautrec,” a sensitive observer of brothels and their late-night habitués, he began to see beauty in all the vagaries of the human body and humor, as well, in its fleshy flamboyance and grandiosity (Fernando Botero, quoted in Ana María Escallón, “From the Inside Out: An Interview with Fernando Botero,” Botero: New Works on Canvas, New York, 1997, p. 13). Famed for the lushly proportioned, pillowy bodies of his now-eponymous nudes, Botero has for decades applied his facetious wit to subjects ranging from Colombia’s military junta, Catholic churchmen, and mannered bourgeoisie to scenes and drollery from everyday life. Since first departing for Europe in 1952, he has drawn from myriad art-historical sources—Titian and Velázquez; Giotto and Masaccio; Rubens and Ingres—and embraced the classical sensuality of volume, space, and color in his inimitable figures. “For me,” Botero explains, “the pleasure comes from the exaltation of life, which expresses the sensuality of forms. For this reason, my formal problem is to create sensuality through forms.”(Fernando Botero, quoted in Mario Vargas Llosa, “A Sumptuous Abundance,” in Fernando Botero exh. cat., Stockholm, 2001, p. 19)

    In the mid-2000s, Botero ventured into starkly political terrain with a series of paintings, but in the past decade he has returned to a more innocuous iconography of circus performers, family groups, and female nudes. The candy-colored Fin de fiesta reprises the brothel scenes that have long been a fixture in his work, among them House of Mariduque (1970) and House of Amanda Ramírez (1988), and which may have a more distant source in 17th century Dutch paintings of the same subject. Two guitar players preside over a strangely dispassionate bacchanalia, its pairs of lovers pneumatic and lifeless; a bare-breasted woman props her foot on the edge of the bed, a cigarette between her fingers. The scattered cigarette butts and single, exposed lightbulb are familiar embellishments in Botero’s paintings; here, they accent the enveloping, roseate palette of the room, which spreads from the bubble-gum pink walls to the ruddy flesh of its occupants. The tonal harmony is minimally interrupted by slight, faintly ironic contrasts of green: the drawn curtain, the guitarist’s necktie, the man’s briefs, the discarded socks, the cloverleaf-patterned pillowcase. Indeed, the painting’s sensuality derives less from its naked eroticism than from the intensity and equilibrium of its color, which reconciles the makeshift messiness and outlandishness of the scene. “Colors experience friendship, and they produce an atmosphere. And, when there is atmosphere, there is poetry,” Botero once remarked (Fernando Botero, quoted in Marie Pierre Colle, “Fernando Botero,” in Latin American Artists in their Studios, New York, 1994, p. 42). “I am looking for poetry in improbability.”(Fernando Botero, quoted in Ana María Escallón, “From the Inside Out: An Interview with Fernando Botero,” Botero: New Works on Canvas, New York, 1997, p.28.)

  • Artist Biography

    Fernando Botero

    Colombian • 1932

    Colombian artist Fernando Botero is known for his voluptuous and exaggerated paintings, sculptures and drawings. He studied under Roberto Longhi, a renowned authority on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, obtaining a remarkable art historical knowledge of Western Classicism. This dialogue between an erudite education and religious art for the masses is the key in the development of his aesthetic.

    Botero was also influenced by Mexican muralism, with which he became acquainted while living in Mexico City. The monumental scale of the human forms in the murals gave rise to the voluminous figures for which he is best known. Botero's works make mordant comments on society's shortcomings; they also incorporate classical elements and are imbued with political satire and caricature.

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Property of an Important American Collector

Ο ◆47

Fin de Fiesta

signed and dated 'BOTERO 09' lower right
oil on canvas
167 x 208.2 cm (65 3/4 x 81 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2009, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

HK$4,600,000 - 6,200,000 

Sold for HK$5,840,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 28 May 2017