Fernando Botero - Latin America New York Thursday, May 29, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Sotheby's, New York, Latin American Art Part I, November 21, 1995, lot 71
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Sculptures permit me to create real volume... One can touch the forms; one can give them smoothness, the sensuality that one wants." Fernando Botero

    Born in Medellín, Colombia in 1932, Fernando Botero is celebrated for his exaggerated forms and disproportionate volumetric paintings and sculptures. He often depicts figures in movement, still-lives, and historical characters with a tinge of political satire, occasionally hinting at the subjects’ inflated sense of their own importance. Explaining his style, Botero states, “An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.”

    Botero appropriates themes from various periods throughout the art historical canon, from the Middle Ages to Latin American colonial art and the modern avant-garde. He has been particularly inspired by masters such as Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya and Diego Velázquez. Additionally, perhaps one of his greatest influences has been Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, a proponent of an extravagant figurative style that emphasized movement, color and sensuality. Botero’s work in sculpture also owes a great deal to his early travels in Italy. His studies of Michelangelo and Bernini taught him the transformative effect of volume, which invariably transfixes viewers and the spaces we inhabit.

    To this day, Botero continues to incorporate classical and conventional notions with a consummate style. Women are one of his preferred subjects, and he represents their volume and significance by dramatically enhancing their natural shapes and curves. Male figures also consistently appear in his work— frequently in conjunction with their female counterparts— as seen in the present lot, Couple Dancing. The viewer can take note of the smooth feel of the sculpture, emphasizing his unique distinction with the roundedness of the couples’ features and the gentle nature in which they hold hands, as if they are ready to take their next steps. The present lot is an emblematic representation of Botero’s signature style, evoking the grandiose Baroque approach and revealing the sumptuous plentitude and beauty of form.

  • 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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Couple Dancing

bronze with brown patina
23 x 17 7/8 x 5 1/8 in. (58.4 x 45.4 x 13 cm.)
Signed and numbered "Botero 2/6" and stamped with the foundry mark on the base. This work is number 2 from an edition of 6.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $161,000

Contact Specialist
Laura González
Head of Latin America Sale
+1 212 940 1216

Latin America

New York Auction 29 May 2014 4pm