Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Un hombre y los fusiles : León Ferrari : herir a muchos
    Primera Plana ( Buenos Aires, Argentina). -- No. 214 (Ene. 31, 1967)
    p. 70 : ill.
    Journal article – Reviews
    Primera Plana (Buenos Aires). "Un hombre y los fusiles: León Ferrari; herir a muchos."  no. 214 (January 31, 1967): 70.

An account of Ferrari’'s (1920–2013) visit to the publisher’s office with his Palabras ajenas [Other People’s Words]. Ferrari adamantly maintains that a work of art should be a rifle aimed at its audience. There are references to Civilización Occidental y Cristiana [Christian Western Civilization], the controversial piece he submitted to the National and International Torcuato Di Tella Prize in 1965. The writer makes a comparison with the novels of John Dos Passos. 


León Ferrari (1920–2013) was born in Buenos Aires, the son of Augusto Cesare Ferrari, the Italian artist and architect. The younger Ferrari was a latecomer to the plastic arts, a status which allowed him to function as a link between the generation of artists from the late fifties and the young avant-garde of the sixties. His early works were ceramic sculptures, but in later years he experimented with wire structures, with a visual form of writing, and with collages. There are two distinct themes running through his work: one is a strong condemnation of military dictatorships, American imperialism, and the ideology of the Catholic Church. The other has a more formalistic quality, expressed in a conceptual style and, at times, in the surrealist tradition. His 1965 object-montage, titled Civilización Occidental y Cristiana [Western Christian Civilization], was censured at the Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [the Torcuato Di Tella Institute’s Visual Arts Center] (see documents 743800, 744085, and 761879). It depicts a Christ mounted on a US Air Force bomber that is plunging Earthward. Ferrari was involved in the political conceptualism movement of the seventies (particularly Tucumán Arde, in 1968). In response to the most recent Argentine military dictatorship’s repressive regime (1975-83), he went into exile in Brazil, where he explored a variety of ideas, such as formalism and the reproducibility of a work, as well as the spatial relationship between sculpture and music (see documents 743960, 744392, and 743870, among others). In 1984 his work was once again exhibited in Buenos Aires, where he finally returned and settled. 
León Ferrari, Palabras ajenas: conversaciones de Dios con algunos hombres y de algunos hombres con algunos hombres y con Dios [Other People’s Words: conversations between God and certain men, and between certain men and certain men and God] (Buenos Aires: Falbo editor, 1967). 

Roberto Amigo.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo León Ferrari, Argentina.