Arts / Galleries

Titan of Latin American Art Celebrates His 90th Birthday With a New Show — Fernando Botero is Still The Master of Volume

Keeping It Surreal at Art of the World Gallery

BY // 06.17.22
photography Paul R. Davis

Houston’s Art of the World Gallery commemorated the 90th birthday of renowned Colombian-born artist Fernando Botero with a retrospective art exhibition dubbed “Celebrating 90 Years of Botero.” Gallery owners Liliana Molina and Mauricio Vallejo put together an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the artist called The Master of Volume.

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

Botero-gazing at Art of the World Gallery (Photo by Paul R. Davis)
Botero-gazing at Art of the World Gallery (Photo by Paul R. Davis)

With works ranging from small to monumental sizes, canvases to sculptures, 1960s-era to as recently as 2021, the exhibition captures the full range of Botero’s illustrious career. Among the highlighted artworks are the 1961 expressionist-figurative painting Niña. It was joined by recent creations fresh from the artist’s studio in Pietrasanta, Italy, including the drawing On the Bar and the oil on canvas Men and Women Drinking.

Botero’s iconic bronze sculptures were also on view, including Dressed Woman and Bird, and his famous Man on a Horse, a version of which Christie’s New York auctioned this past March for $4,320,000.

One piece in particular took the spotlight: La Calle – The Street, the largest oil painting Botero has ever created and his only four-panel canvas. Depicting the upper and lower classes as contrasting figures of opposing sizes via his signature style, Botero subtly critiques consumerism and society’s indulgence — a recurring theme in his work. 

Frida Valentina catering, owned by Chef Adriana Avendaño, paid a tribute to Botero’s home country of Colombia with empanadas Iglesias, pandebono con bocadillo (cheese bread with guava paste), cheese arepas, patacon con carne, mini Colombian hotdogs and chorizo Antioqueño with papa criolla. Guests feasted on these hors d’oeuvres while enjoying Latin acoustic sounds and lounge vibes.

In total, more than 150 art lovers, including international and national collectors, attended the grand opening. The evening resulted in strong interest and translated into brisk 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 Adrián Dueñas and Marcelo Saenz, Juan Carlos Sardi with Shade Bowers, Amelia and Spencer Howe, Virginia and Harold Marx, Diane and Don Quast, Lama and Samer Danial, Carla and Tony Maarraoui, 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 showing through 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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