DescriptionFernando Botero (b. 1932)
Un Abogado, 1967
Oil on canvas
35-1/2 x 34-1/4 inches (90.2 x 87.0 cm)
Signed and dated lower right: Botero 67
Signed, titled, and dated on the reverse: "Un Abogado" / Botero 67
From the estate of Jack Rollins, New York, acquired from the above in 1968.
For over six decades, the genius talent agent and TV and film producer Jack Rollins jumpstarted and nurtured the careers of some of America's finest comedians, including Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, and David Letterman. A native of Brooklyn, "King of Comedy" Rollins graduated from the City College of New York before serving as a decoder of communications in India during World War II. Here, his commanding officer, the actor Melvyn Douglas, enlisted Rollins' help in staging performances at the China-Burma-India Theater; after the war, Douglas introduced Rollins to professional contacts on Broadway, where he organized shows during the late 1940s. In 1951, Rollins established a small talent agency in Manhattan, and his first project was helping Harry Belafonte, a short-order cook in the Village, recast himself as a pop star and actor. In the late 1950s, the improvisational comedy pair Mike Nichols and Elaine May hired Rollins as a manager, and he transformed them into "Nichols and May," Grammy Award-winning artists. With his partner Charles H. Joffe, Rollins "discovered" Woody Allen in the early 1960s, encouraging him to broaden his repertoire from writing to stand-up comedy and directing, and later producing many of his movies. Rollins also served as an executive producer of TV's The Dick Cavett Show from 1970-72 and Late Night with David Letterman from 1982-92, garnering ten nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award. Rollins debuted his role as a film producer with Arthur in 1981, and he went on to shape the movie careers of comedy legends Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. "A pioneer in the field of personal management, Rollins was one of the first to [identify] what, he believed [was] they key to a personal manager's success- getting 'personally involved... otherwise there's just no point in doing it.'"
-B. Borns, "Jack Rollins," page 129
"All the elements of my work as a painter and sculptor spring from the same spirit: namely, from my passion for volumes."
Un Abogado is of the artist's signature style known as Boterismo, a term given to the signature, voluptuous figures in his work. Both flat and full of volume, the people depicted in Fernando Botero's paintings and sculptures have a whimsical air and distinctive greatness. "Many people know me as the painter of the 'fat ladies,' and it doesn't disturb me," he said in a recent interview, although he has insisted that he paints the 'sensuality of form'. Executed in 1967, Un Abogado (A Lawyer) stands smoking a cigarette, his posture suggesting that he is deep in thought, guarded perhaps. His figure takes up a majority of the canvas, leaving it up to the viewer to image the setting of the piece.
Born in Medellín in 1932, Botero was influenced by the sculptural forms found in Catholic churches in his home city, as well as the Italian Quattrocento artists he encountered in his travels. For decades, he has expressed his facetiousness through his depictions of priests, nude bathers and families as well as his recognizable replications of art history's most famous works. Mona Lisa, Age Twelve recasts Leonardo da Vinci's subject in an enthusiastic, imaginative world.
Fernando Botero has had more than 200 solo exhibitions and remains in the permanent collections of notable institutions around the world including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; and the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. He was included in the Venice Biennale in 1958 and 1992.
Surface grime; stretcher bar marks along the edges; a few small areas of cupping to the left half and one to the upper right quadrant; minor craquelure along the right edge; two small flakes of loss to the lower left edge; under UV light there appears to be one approximate 3/4 x 1/2 inch area of inpaint to the right edge to address craquelure. Framed Dimensions 37.25 X 36 Inches
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