Visual Arts » Art Review

The Baroque World of Fernando Botero

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Very few artists are so closely associated with a particular look as Fernando Botero. Just say his name and colorfully corpulent figures with delicate features instantly come to mind. Most are inspired by Medellin, Colombia, where he grew up in genteel poverty after his traveling salesman father died when he was a toddler. Although he lived most of his adult life in Europe, he never forgot Medellin's Old World formality and baroque architecture, and his paintings are fraught with the sorts of ironic conflicts also found in the novels of fellow Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez. That clash of civilization and wild nature " or even human nature " can be seen in The First Lady (pictured), as an opulent lady rides a tiny-yet-fat horse through a lush tropical jungle into the unknown. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Through Sept. 21

New Orleans Museum of Art, City Park, 658-4100; www.noma.org

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