Fernando Botero, Crucifixion, 2011, oil on canvas, 81 1/8 x 59".

Fernando Botero

Marlborough | Midtown

Fernando Botero, Crucifixion, 2011, oil on canvas, 81 1/8 x 59".

The theme of helpless victim and arrogant victimizer recurs again and again in the art of Colombian-born painter Fernando Botero. From his earliest works, made in the 1980s, which deal with dictatorial power in Latin America, to his brutal 2006 paintings portraying torture at Abu Ghraib, Botero repeatedly addresses the theme of man’s inhumanity to man, the humiliation and violence human beings have perpetuated upon each other since time immemorial. This exhibition took as its theme yet another event charged with cruelty and suffering: the Passion of Christ. Throughout the series of twenty-seven paintings (and thirty-four accompanying drawings), Roman soldiers serve as symbols and instruments of authoritarian rule. It is Roman soldiers who arrest Christ in The Kiss of Judas, 2010, a Roman soldier who beats Christ in The Scourge, 2011, and a Roman soldier who stands astride Christ’s

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