Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib
Nov 6 through Dec 30
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
A few thoughts after attending the opening reception of this hugh and graphic exhibition..... Anyone who sees this show will not walk away unmoved. Artistically, it calls up great master painters such as Goya and Picasso who also voiced their outrage at the attrocities of war. Fernando Botero paints a chilling and gut wrenching modern version of an ancient indulgence. Here, aggression, fear and pain leave an indelible longing to understand the inconceivable flaws of mankind. This is an important exhibition which bears witness to today's realities of war.
Botero constructed each work after reading official reports of the atrocities and concentrated on the suffering and dignity of the victims rather than their tormentors. Botero unveiled these controversial works in Europe in 2005. This is the first showing of the Abu Ghraib paintings and drawings in a museum in the U.S. The show is presented in collaboration with the university's College of Arts & Sciences, Schools of International Service, Public Affairs, Communications, Kogod School of Business, and the Washington College of Law.
"American University's long-standing commitment to international human rights makes us a natural host to display Botero's work," claims AU Museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen. "Through his distinctive painting style, our students, faculty and, especially, the Washington, D.C. community will be able to discuss human rights and war not through a political lens, but through art. Art cannot change the war but it can bear testimony."
Pious protest by Deborah K. Dietsch, The Washington Times article
Botero Sees the World's True Heavies at Abu Ghraib By Erica Jong
Washington Post article
Abu Ghraib Art Exhibit Opens in Washington, DC By Zulima Palacio Voice of America article