Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters

Auction 179 - 15 May 2021

Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters Lot 494

Fernando Botero (Colombia / 1932)
Ballerini (1995)


€ 120 000 - 160 000

"Selling Botero" Felipe Grimberg, Silvana Ed., Milano 2015, cf. p. 266-267 ill. (shown there in mirror image)
Photo certificate by the artist, 1995
Gal. Raphaël Imbert, Paris
With documentation


"My whole life I have felt as though I had something to say in the language of sculpture. It is a powerful desire I have… pleasure - that of being able to touch a new reality which one creates. With painting you may give the illusion of reality but with sculpture you can touch the reality… If I paint a knife in my paintings it is imaginary; but if I sculpt it then the sensation of holding it in my hand is real. It is an object which comes from your mind, a sensual experience down to its execution. That brings a special joy to touching the material with your hands." (Fernando Botero in E. J. Sullivan, Botero Sculpture, New York, 1986)

His sculptures express Fernando Botero's unmistakable style even more prominently than his paintings. This unique ‘boterismo' overwhelms us by the monumental exaggeration of voluminous, voluptuous characters and figures. The viewer is attracted by forms radiating sensuality thanks to their fullness. The images long to be touched, their cold bronze to be cherished.

The dancing couple is a symphony of rhythmic sequences of curves and smooth surfaces, a play of shadow and volume. The lady in a swirly dress and the mustachioed gentleman with a suit vest are typical Botero characters. Due to the lack of individual characteristics, they represent a universal motif. The dance is one of Botero's beloved themes, allowing him to pay tribute to joy and beauty, permeated with baroque exuberance and ‘joie de vivre'.

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