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Fernando Botero: Monumental Bronzes > Additional Information

Art Museum of the Americas

Fernando Botero
- Additional Information -

A group of monumental bronze sculptures by internationally-renowned artist Fernando Botero will be exhibited by the Art Museum of the Americas this Fall in Washington D.C.'s President's Park. Botero in  Washington, D.C. will open September 24 and continue through November 1.

Eighteen of the celebrated bronzes in Botero's signature style, ranging from eight to 12 feet in height or length, and weighing between 1900 and 5100 pounds, will be situated along the north side of Constitution Avenue, between 15th and 17th streets.

By exhibiting the bronzes in President's Park, within walking distance of the Ellipse and the White House, the Art Museum of the Americas hopes Washingtonians and visitors to the nation's capital will learn more about the work of this contemporary master while reaffirming the importance of public art in urban culture.

"Placing the sculptures in a non-traditional setting not known for art will reveal an unexpected surprise to passersby, encouraging them  to rediscover Washington's famous cityscape," said Cesar Gaviria, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Botero in Washington D.C. is presented by the Art Museum of the Americas in commemoration of the museum's 20th anniversary, under the auspices of the OAS. The Art Museum of the Americas was established by the OAS in 1976 to heighten the awareness of the art of the Americas in the United States. Its mission is to study, preserve and exhibit works of recognized artists of North, Central and South America and  the Caribbean.

The outdoor exhibitions of Botero's voluptuously rotund human and animal figures have enchanted viewers in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Latin America. The bronzes have graced the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Le Jardin du Casino in Monte Carlo, the Champs-Elyses in Paris, Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana, and Michigan and Park avenues in Chicago and New York, among others. The bronzes are currently on exhibit outdoors at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Botero's larger-than-life bronzes to be erected in President's Park were cast near Pietrasanta, in Tuscany, Italy, the location of some of the world's most famous foundries. They include Maternity (1989), Roman Soldier (1985), Man (1990), Woman (1989), Torso (man) (1992), Rape of Europa (1992), Woman with Mirror (1987), Little Bird (1992), La Pensee (1992), Torso (woman) (1982), The Left Hand (1992), Reclining Woman (1993), Man on a Horse (1992), Cat (1984), Reclining  Woman (1984), Horse (1992), Adam (1990), and Eve (1990).

Botero's bronzes present his characteristic world of swollen forms and he has been asked many times about the origins of his puffed-up personalities. "My subject matter is sometimes satirical," Botero has said of his works. "These `puffed-up' personalities are being `puffed' to give them sensuality ... In art, as long as you have ideas and think, you are bound to deform nature. Art is deformation. There are no works of art that are truly realistic."

Botero's cherished concept "art is deformation" is based on his belief that art is to transform reality. He deforms as an attempt to impart sensuality to objects, thus creating sensuality through his own unique forms. By doing so, his final purpose is to provide his viewers with an upbeat take on life.

Born in Medellin, Colombia, in 1932, Botero began drawing in watercolors at a very young age. In 1952 he traveled to Europe and studied the classical masters in Madrid and Florence. In 1960 he moved  to New York where he struggled against the dominant art trends and strove for many years to establish his own personal style.

He began making sculpture in 1973 in Paris, creating his particularly distinctive `puffed-up' shapes. Botero's work is included in numerous public and private collections, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museo  d'Arte Moderna del Vaticano, Italy; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Caracas; Museo de Arte Moderno and the Museo Nacional, Bogota; The  Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Saltama, Japan, among many others.

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