León Ferrari

  • Born 1920 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Died 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

León Ferrari was a self-taught artist who worked in a wide range of mediums. He began his artistic career in Italy, working as a sculptor, in the 1950s. By 1955 he had his first solo show in Milan, and that same year he returned to Argentina. He soon expanded his artistic production to ceramics, collage, painting, and drawing, working in plaster, cement, wood, and stainless steel wire. Beginning in the early 1960s he adopted conceptual strategies and his first “Written Paintings” and “Written Drawings” emerged. With these nearly calligraphic pieces he explored the boundaries between lines and words. Ferrari is mostly known for his social and political concerns, which are reflected in his art. His famous La Civilización Occidental y Cristiana (Western Civilization and Christianity, 1965) was among his first artworks protesting the United States’ military intervention in Vietnam. In 1976 he left Argentina for political reasons and exiled himself in Brazil. There he applied the technique of heliography to create series of “plans,” mapping sections of labyrinthine worlds with sarcastic notes. Ferrari also wrote critical essays and invented new musical instruments. He was honored with many awards and prizes and returned to Argentina in 1991.

Artworks by León Ferrari in the exhibition