The Baroque World of Fernando Botero opens March 19 at the Toledo Museum of Art

The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, a touring exhibition of the popular Colombian artist’s work, opens to the public March 19 at the Toledo Museum of Art. Toledo is the final stop and only Midwest venue for the exhibition.

Known for the larger-than-life scale of his work and his use of vibrant colors, Colombian painter, sculptor and draftsman Fernando Botero has a style instantly recognized as his alone. Inspired by Baroque painters but grounded by his Latin American roots, he depicts the comedy of human life—moving or wry, sometimes with mocking observations, sometimes with deep, basic emotions.

Visitors can investigate the complexity of Botero’s artistry by viewing some of his best-known works as well as others in The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. The exhibition will be on display March 19–June 12, 2011 in Galleries 28A-C.

Organized by Art Services International of Alexandria, Va., the exhibition opened in January 2007 in Canada at the Musée National des Beaux–Arts du Québec and, since then, has been seen at 11 other U.S. museums, mostly in the South.

Botero, who was born in 1932, works in a broad range of media, and his work is popular around the globe. He also has found inspiration in a broad range of artists, including those of the Baroque movement of the 17th century.

One hundred paintings, sculptures and drawings from Botero’s personal collection assembled over the past 50 years will be on view in Toledo. The works, selected by John Sillevis, curator of the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, include favorites that Botero was unable to part with as well as pieces he reacquired years after they originally left his possession.

The exhibition contains some of the best works from various stages in Botero’s development as an artist. There also are occasional “flashbacks” to his early works in the 1950s. Botero’s extensive studies of the history of European and Mexican art are clearly evident. While most of his time as an artist has been spent outside his native Colombia, Botero has maintained a link to Latin American Baroque imagery in all of his works.

His superb craftsmanship may be most evident in his drawings, especially his pastels, which often are compared to early etchings by Pablo Picasso.

Also of note are Botero’s bronze and marble sculptures. The monumental, voluptuous figures transform their surroundings into a world of fantasy that is uniquely his.

A fully illustrated, full-color catalog published by Art Services International accompanies the exhibition and will be available for purchase in the Museum Store. In addition to an introduction by Sillevis, the catalog contains scholarly essays, a biography of the artist, a list of his work in public collections, a list of his solo exhibitions and a select bibliography.

Admission to the exhibition is free for TMA members and children under 6 years of age. Admission for nonmembers is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors age 65 and over, and $5 for students ages 6 to 22. Reduced rates are available for student and other groups. Tickets can be purchased online and at the Museum beginning March 15. There is a $1 handling charge for tickets purchased online.

The exhibition is circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Va. Her Excellency, Carolina Barco, Colombia Ambassador to the United States, is honorary patron of the exhibition.

Admission to the Museum is free. The showing of The Baroque World of Fernando Botero is made possible through the generosity of members of the Toledo Museum of Art. The exhibition also is supported in part through the sustainable grant program of the Ohio Arts Council, which encourages economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Exhibition Related Programs
Preview Party
The Big Opening: Going For Baroque
March 17: 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Celebrate the exhibition opening in “grand fashion” with us. Enjoy an evening of South American extravagance featuring live music with a Latin beat, signature snacks by Museum Chef Erika Rapp, a cash bar, hands-on activities and a sneak peek of the exhibition. A big opening demands some big fashion, elaborate hair and wear encouraged. Purchase tickets (TMA members free/nonmembers $15) at the door or by calling 419-255-8000 ext. 7448 starting March 1.

Framing Botero: Fernando Botero’s Art in Context
Friday, April 1: 7:30 p.m., Little Theater
How does Botero’s oversized work fit into the wider world of Colombian and Latin American art in the 20th century? Deborah Cullen, director of curatorial programs at El Museo del Barrio, will discuss the context from which Botero’s art arises and from which it diverges. El Museo del Barrio is a leading museum of Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art in New York. In addition to organizing exhibitions, Cullen has written and contributed to a number of exhibition catalogs.

Fernando Botero and the Art of Radical Stylization
Friday, May 6: 7:30 p.m., Little Theater
Fernando’s Botero’s international appeal rests largely with his immediately recognized style. He has applied his unique stylization to subjects ranging from art historical precedents to scenes of political turmoil in contemporary life. Don Bacigalupi, executive director of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., explores ways in which Botero’s stylizations borrow from and resonate with other artists’ uniquely exaggerated styles, from Old Masters to cutting-edge contemporary artists. A former director of the Toledo Museum of Art, Bacigalupi has written and lectured widely on contemporary art at major museums and universities across the country. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.

Botero/Colombian Film Series
Artist Fernando Botero is from Medellín, Colombia. Free screenings of three films that provide a wide-ranging look at the people of this country, including Botero himself, are planned.

Botero: The Rebel
Friday, March 18: 7:30 p.m., GlasSalon
Fernando Botero’s sculptures and his paintings are popular with many. This film tells the story of the exceptional man, travelling back into 20 centuries of Western art to explore Botero’s inspirations. (English and Spanish with subtitles) 52 minutes

Entre Nos
Friday, April 22: 7:30 p.m., Little Theater
Inspired by one family’s real life story, this award-winning 2009 film follows Mariana, a mother who is determined to keep her family together. Her children, Gabriel, 10, and Andrea, 6, have grown up in Colombia without their father. When they finally are reunited in New York City, a series of events leaves Mariana to take care of her children alone. These three take us on a remarkable journey where we bear witness to a family’s commitment to survival and their unrelenting hope for the American dream. (Spanish with subtitles and some English) 81 minutes

Love in the Time of Cholera
Friday, May 27: 7:30 p.m., Little Theater
How long would you wait for love? Based on Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novel, Love In The Time Of Cholera, the drama takes place in Cartagena, Colombia where it traces the vigil of Florentino Ariza, who waits for more than half a century to claim the hand of Fermina Daza, the woman he loves. (English) 138 minutes

Hands-on Activities
Plump Up the Volume
Sunday, March 20: 2–4 p.m., Libbey Court
Let the Baroque imagery found in the Botero exhibition inspire you to experiment with Model Magic® and create your own sculpture that plays with volume.

Still Life
Friday, April 1: 7–9 p.m., Libbey Court
Using chalk pastels, make your own still life inspired by those found in the Fernando Botero exhibition.

Tissue Paper Flowers
Friday, May 20: 7–9 p.m.., Libbey Court
Originally used as inexpensive offerings at home and church altars, paper flowers have become a predominant decoration throughout Latin and South America. Using bright, multicolored tissue paper, create a flower similar to one seen in the Botero exhibition.

Larger than Life Still Life
Sunday, June 12: 2–4 p.m., Libbey Court
Botero is known for his signature style of creating simplified, oversized and inflated figures in his works of art. Inspired by works of art in the Botero exhibition, create a larger than life still life using chalk pastels.

Free Public Tours
March 18: 6:30 and 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
March 19: 2 and 3 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
March 20: 3 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
March 26: 2 and 3 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
March 27: 3 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
April 1: 6:30 and 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
April 9: 2 and 3 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
April 29: 6:30 and 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
May 20: 6:30 and 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
June 10: 6:30 and 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
June 11: 2 and 3 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court

Related Print Exhibition
The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century.
Some 80 prints, including etchings and engravings from the turn of 17th century thorough the early 18th century are featured in the related exhibition, The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century. The print exhibition is on view from Feb. 25–July 31, 2011 in the Works on Paper Galleries at the Toledo Museum of Art. Among artists whose work is shown are: Annibale Carracci, Salvator Rosa, Jusepe de Ribera, Claude Lorrain, Christoffel Jegher, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and Jacques Callot. Admission to the exhibition is free.

About the Toledo Museum of Art
The mission of the Toledo Museum of Art is based upon the belief in the power of art to ignite the imagination, stimulate thought, and provide enjoyment. Through our collection and programs, we strive to integrate art into the lives of people.

The Toledo Museum of Art is a nonprofit arts institution funded through individual donations, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and investments. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund programs at the Toledo Museum of Art through a sustainable grant program that encourages economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Glass Pavilion® and Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion are registered service marks of the Toledo Museum of Art.

Admission to the Museum is free. The Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Noon to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays and major holidays. Friday evening hours are made possible by Fifth Third Bank.

The Museum is located at 2445 Monroe Street at Scottwood Avenue, just west of the downtown business district and one block off I-75 with exit designations posted. For general information, visitors can call 419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, or visit