Marlborough Gallery will present the first showing of a new body of work by the world renowned Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. The exhibition, entitled Via Crucis, is based on scenes from the passion of Christ. This will be Botero’s first New York exhibition since 2006 when he presented the critically acclaimed show of paintings dealing with the events of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003.
The show of Via Crucis (Latin for The Way of the Cross) will consist of twenty-seven oils on canvas of various sizes and approximately thirty-four drawings in mixed media on paper.
One of the largest works in the show is a Pieta measuring 93 x 58” while a Descent of the Cross measures 90 by 50”. Smaller works measuring 20 x 20” lose no power from their size and are made all the more touching by their very intimacy.
The hallmark of all the paintings regardless of size and subject is Botero’s stunning use of color that charges the works with both seductive beauty and elemental impact.
Just as in his paintings of the Abu Ghraib prison, these works depicting Christ’s Passion are intense and powerful not only because of the events depicted but also because of Botero’s ability to convey pathos and emotion.
Botero can be humorous and whimsical as some of his paintings over the years reveal, but he can also turn his considerable talents to portray tragic events as the paintings in this show effectively demonstrated.