Abu Ghraib

Exhibition of Botero's "Abu Ghraib" at Berkeley Art Museum, Galleries 5 and 6

 

President Rousseff viewed the Botero "Abu Ghraib" drawings on exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum. (Photo by Isabel Nogueira.)
Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil 2011-16, viewed the Botero "Abu Ghraib" drawings on exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum. (Photo by Isabel Nogueira.)

In late January 2007, the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Berkeley first exhibited 48 paintings and drawings from Fernando Botero’s extraordinary "Abu Ghraib" collection.  Inspired by the response, he donated sixty “Abu Ghraib” paintings and drawings to the campus in 2009.

Botero was to write “scholars Harley Shaiken and Beatriz Manz, both professors at the University of California, Berkeley....knew about this series of paintings and drawings because it had already been exhibited at some European museums, but they also knew that it had been rejected by several American museums, which is why they decided to contact me and suggested presenting it at Berkeley. Delighted, I accepted, of course, and in that moment, they made the miracle happen. In only seven weeks, they were able to arrange the exhibit in the university’s facilities. The exhibit caused a significant impact and met with great interest, both on the part of the faculty as well as the students, because they all shared the same indignation that this atrocious news, that of the tortures in the Abu Ghraib prison, 32 kilometers away from Iraq’s capital city, had generated everywhere.”

Nine of those works are on display now in the Berkeley Art Museum's Galleries 5 and 6, as part of their "Agony in Effigy: Art, Truth, Pain, and the Body" exhibit.

Agony in Effigy, on display at the Berkeley Art Museum. (Photo by Beatriz Manz.)
"Agony in Effigy," on display at the Berkeley Art Museum. (Photo by Beatriz Manz.)

Agony in Effigy, on display at the Berkeley Art Museum. (Photo by Beatriz Manz.)
Students view "Agony in Effigy," on display at the Berkeley Art Museum. (Photo by Beatriz Manz.)

Abu Ghraib 7, 2004, 30 x 40 cm, sanguine on paper.
Abu Ghraib 7, 2004, 30 x 40 cm, sanguine on paper.

Abu Ghraib 16, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, sanguine on paper.
Abu Ghraib 16, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, sanguine on paper.

Abu Ghraib 17, 2005, 30 x 40 cm, charcoal on paper.
Abu Ghraib 17, 2005, 30 x 40 cm, charcoal on paper.

Abu Ghraib 10, 2004, 40 x 30 cm, watercolor on paper.
Abu Ghraib 10, 2004, 40 x 30 cm, watercolor on paper.

Abu Ghraib 20, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, watercolor on paper.
Abu Ghraib 20, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, watercolor on paper.

Abu Ghraib 37, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, pencil on paper.
Abu Ghraib 37, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, pencil on paper.

Abu Ghraib on display at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile, in 2012

 

More on the Abu Ghraib collection:

The original exhibition at Berkeley, January 2007
Fernando Botero's donation of the collection to Berkeley, 2009
Abu Ghraib at the Museum of Memory in Santiago, Chile, 2012

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau presents Fernando Botero with the Chancellor’s Citation. (Photo by Peg Skorpinski.)UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau presents Fernando Botero with the Chancellor’s Citation, September 2009. (Photo by Peg Skorpinski.)