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Wed, Mar 20, 2024 08:00PM EDT
Lot 33

Fernando Botero Graphite Drawing 1969

Estimate: $15,000 - $30,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000

Fernando Botero (Columbian, 1932-2023). Graphite on paper drawing depicting an elderly woman with a cat at her feet and a spider just above her, 1969. Signed and dated along the lower right. Inscribed along the verso "To Stanton, Fernando." With two exhibition catalogs from Botero's show at the Center for Inter-American Relations in 1969.

Provenance: Gift of the artist to Stanton L. Catlin, former director of the Center for Inter-American Relations; thence by descent.

Stanton L. Catlin, "Oral History Interview with Stanton L. Catlin, 1989 July 1-September 14," Francis O'Connor, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, pg. 76.
"Fernando Botero," Center for Inter-American Relations Art Gallery, New York, March 27 - Mary 7, 1969.

Lot Essay:
Fernando Botero was a figurative artist and sculptor, well-known for his large, exaggerated figures. This style would become known as "Boterismo." His first show would be in 1948, but it was the 1950s that would catapult him to national and international fame. It was during this time that he became associated with a period of artistic renewal in Columbia. Five artists, dubbed the "Big Five," came to be icons of this time. They included Botero, Alejandro Obregon, Enrique Grau, Eduardo Ramirez Villamizar, and Edgar Negret.

Botero would live, exhibit, and travel around the work, spending much of his time in Paris in his later years. However, every year, he would return for one month to his hometown of Medellin, Columbia. Despite spending most of his life outside of his home country, he would describe himself as "the most Columbian of Columbian artists" and the "most Colombian artist living" due to his isolation from international art trends.

In an oral history provided by Stanton Catlin, he spoke on his time as the director of the Center for Inter-American Relations. During his term in 1969, he gave Botero his first one-man solo exhibition in the United States and, in thanks, the artist gifted Stanton a drawing he had executed, now offered here. It was this show that opened many doors to Botero in New York, allowing him to establish himself in the United States.

The figure depicted in this drawing is unidentified, though may draw influence from a charcoal on canvas drawing of Grandma Moses included in the aforementioned 1969 exhibit. However, the inclusion of a spider and a cat may hearken to the popular children's rhyme "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," which was popularized by Burl Ives in 1953.

Sight; height: 15 1/4 in x width: 10 3/4 in. Framed; height: 24 3/4 in x width: 19 3/4 in.


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