Fernando Botero (b. 1932)
Fernando Botero (b. 1932)
Fernando Botero (b. 1932)
Fernando Botero (b. 1932)
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Fernando Botero (b. 1932)

Little Bird

Fernando Botero (b. 1932)
Little Bird
signed and numbered 'Botero 4/6' and stamped with a foundry mark (on the base)
16 x 17 ¾ x 15 ¾ in. (40.6 x 45.1 x 40 cm.)
Executed in 1988.
Edition four of six.
James Goodman Gallery, New York.
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Nohra Haime Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owners.
Exhibition catalogue, Fernando Botero, Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, 1990, p. 123, no. 98. (another cast illustrated)
Exhibition catalogue, Fernando Botero: Recent Sculpture, New York, Marlborough Gallery, 1990, no. 10 (another cast illustrated).
F. Grimberg, Selling Botero, Milan, Silvana Editoriale S.p.A., 2015, p. 165 (another cast illustrated).

Lot Essay

Colombian artist Fernando Botero has achieved extraordinary critical and commercial success for more than forty years and his work has been included in numerous exhibitions worldwide. His beloved monumental sculptures have graced the plazas of major cities around the world such as Madrid, New York and Singapore. He has received accolades and honors for his distinguished career and is considered one of Latin America’s most admired artist. The artist’s generosity towards his homeland has been abundantly demonstrated throughout the years. One of his most generous gifts was an exceptional donation of 208 works of art which included 123 of his own and 85 by renowned international masters such as Picasso, Miró, Matisse, Calder, among others. The artist’s remarkable bequest was the impetus for the Museo Botero in the nation’s capital city of Bogotá. Situated in the historical neighborhood of Candelaria, the institution welcomes thousands daily.
In Medellín, the city of Botero’s birth and the place where he spent his youth, the artist endowed several monumental sculptures to be placed in public spaces. Such was the monumental sculpture, The Bird, in the Parque San Antonio. Sadly, it was destroyed when a bomb was placed under it on a late summer evening in June 1995. A despicable act of violence brought about by terrorists who perhaps were connected to the various drug cartels at the time or the several guerrilla groups that plagued the nation nearly a quarter of a century ago, the blast killed more than thirty innocent people and wounded many, who had gathered for a concert. At the time, the artist’s son, Fernando Botero Zea, was Colombia's Minister of Defense and personally supervised the investigation of the explosion.
Moved by the tragedy, Botero resolved to bequeath another sculpture, not to replace the previous one but in solidarity with the people of Medellín and all those who clamor for peace and justice. The act of restituting the sculpture was to insure that the memory of those whose lives were cut short was kept alive and to condemn useless acts of brutality wherever they occur. The artist stipulated that the damaged sculpture be left alongside the new one as a constant companion. In 2000 the artist’s new sculpture was placed at the entrance to the park and became part of a larger city-wide initiative to revitalize this section of the city.
The present lot in the current sale is the same sculpture on a smaller scale and like its counterpart in that Medellín park a symbol of peace, El pájaro de la paz, the title Botero has aptly chosen for the sculpture. Though small, its solid form and almost valiant stance is a reminder of the beauty of these smallest of creatures who share our world and their power to signify man’s highest aspiration for peace.


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