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Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib 66, 2005
Oil on canvas
13 x 12 5/8 in., 33 x 32 cm
Photo courtesy of Marlborough Gallery


Staff Report

NEW YORK, 16 November 2006—On view until Saturday, 18 November at the Marlborough Gallery, this special exhibition of works by the Colombian artist, Fernando Botero (b. Medellín, Colombia 1932) is worth a detour for visitors to the Big Apple. These works, which come from the artist’s own collection and are not for sale, are personal statements of his reaction and feelings stemming from his reading of news media accounts of the events taking place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003.

Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib 72, 2005
Oil on canvas
75 1/8 x 47 1/4 in., 191 x 120 cm
Photo courtesy of Marlborough Gallery

The show consists of approximately forty-five works and include both paintings and drawings. The subject of the works deals with the abuses, both physical and moral, that were inflicted on the Iraqi prisoners. In depicting these offensive and violent scenes from the chapters of war’s atrocities and man’s inhumanity to man Botero follows a long line of artists, such as Goya, Grosz, Manet, Dix, Beckmann and Picasso, whose reactions to war have been documented in various media and artistic forms.

Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib 72, 2005
Oil on canvas
14 1/2 x 11 7/8 in., 37 x 30 cm
Photo courtesy of Marlborough Gallery

 The series was first exhibited as part of a larger exhibition at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome in 2005, followed by showings at the Würth Museum in Künzelsau, Germany and the Pinacoteca in Athens, Greece. This is the first viewing in the United States.

Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib 65, 2005
Oil on canvas
13 x 18 7/8 in., 33 x 48 cm

Photo courtesy of Marlborough Gallery

Prestel has published a book of Botero’s paintings and drawings of Abu Ghraib with a text by Art in America's David Ebony.

Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib
Marlborough Gallery
40 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (1) 212 541 49 00

Botero: Abu Ghraib
by David Ebony
Paperback, 112 pages, 95 color illustrations
Prestel, New York, 2006
ISBN: 3-7913-3741-6
US $ 35.00
GB £ 19.99

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