Fernando Botero

“I describe in a realistic form a nonrealistic Reality.”

Fernando Botero (1932-2023) was one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Born in Medellín, Colombia in 1932, the artist developed a style that is immediately recognized and celebrated in every corner of the planet. As a teenager, he left matador school to become an artist and held his first exhibition in Colombia in 1948. (Read More)

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Botero spent his youth investigating form and traveling around the world to research master artists. His European travels began in Madrid, Spain, where he studied at the Academia de San Fernando. Throughout the 1950s, Botero experimented with proportion and size. He began developing his trademark style characterized by exaggerated volumes and proportions after he moved to New York City in 1960. After reaching an international audience with his art, Botero moved to Paris in 1973, where he began creating sculptures. These works extended the foundational themes of his painting. By the 1990s, outdoor exhibitions of huge bronze figures were staged around the world to great success.

He maintained consistency and coherence throughout his career in the exploration of color and volume while depicting scenes from Colombia and Latin America. His signature style, now known as “Boterismo,” gives objects and characters in his work a distinctive identity. Botero depicted daily life, historical events and characters, references to art history, still life, animals, and the natural world in general, with exaggerated and disproportionate volumetric proportions, accompanied by fine details of satiric criticism, irony, humor, and ingenuity.

Based in various European cities throughout his life, Botero achieved international acclaim with major exhibitions seen worldwide. His art is often collected by illustrious museums, corporations, and private collectors.


Important Exhibitions

2018    Celebrating 90 Years of Botero, Art of the World Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA

2017    Botero in Rome, Complesso Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

2016    Botero in China, China Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2016    Fernando Botero: Abstract Realism in Luminous Volume, Art of the World Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA

2012    Botero Celebration, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain – Una Celebración, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, México

2011    Fernando Botero’s paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

2010    Contemporary Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

2009–10    Abu Ghraib, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum Berkeley, California, USA

2008–10    The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado; New Orleans Museum of Art, NOMA, Louisiana; Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, USA

2006    Fernando Botero, Athens Concert Hall, Athens, Greece

2003    Fernando Botero – The Last 15 Years, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, Italy

2002    Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark

2000    Botero a Piazza Signoria, Florence, Italy

The Museum of Antioquía, Medellín, Colombia
1996    Monumental Bronzes, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington DC, USA

1994    The National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1993    Botero in New York, Park Avenue, New York, USA

1992–93    Kunsthaus Vienna, Austria; The Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

1992    Botero aux Champs-Élysées: Sculptures Monumentales; Paris, France

1989    The Rufino Tamayo Museum, Oaxaca, México

1981    The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

1979–80    A Retrospective Exhibition, The South Texas Museum of Art, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

1964    Fernando Botero: Obras Recientes, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia


Permanent Collections

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes; Santiago, Chile

Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia

Museo Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia

Neue Pinakothek, Münich, Germany

Museo d´Arte Moderna del Vaticano; Vatican City, Italy

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan

Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, South Korea

Museo de Bellas Artes; Caracas, Spain

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., USA

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA