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


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Nacimiento / L F
    León Ferrari  : ocho años en Brasil 1976-1984. -- Buenos Aires, Argentina : Arte Nuevo, 3 al 21 de jul. de 1984.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Ferrari, León. "Nacimiento." In León Ferrari: ocho años en Brasil 1976-1984. Exh. cat., Buenos Aires: 1984.

León Ferrari writes a poetic text about his work, formulated on the tradition of surrealist writing stemming from associations. He mentions his linear drawings, wire sculptures, the reproducibility of the multiplied image of an unfinished work in continuous expansion. A text written in his Brazilian exile, in 1979, in which there are references to pain: a look “with tender or hurtful or bright” eyes focused in the work, always unfinished. Just like a brightness that repairs “the damage, the wound, the blunder.” 


León Ferrari (Buenos Aires, 1920–2013), son of the artist and architect Augusto César Ferrari, began later in life to dedicate himself to visual arts. This allowed him to serve as a bridge between the late-1950s artist generation and the young vanguard of the 1960s. His first works were ceramic sculptures; then, León experimented with wire structures, visual writing, and collages. What stood out from his work were two branches: a political line that strongly condemned military dictatorships, American imperialism, and Catholic Church ideology, as well as an Informalist approach to conceptual drawing or even within 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). Ferrari participated intensely in the 1960s events of political conceptualism (in particular, at the event Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning], 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). Since 1984, he has exhibited again in Buenos Aires, where Ferrari again established himself definitely. 


León Ferrari exiled himself with his family to Brazil from 1976-84. His son Ariel remained missing after being under arrest by the Argentinean military dictatorship. First solo exhibition in Buenos Aires after his exile. This text by León Ferrari was written in 1979, first edition in this catalogue.  


The Arte Nuevo gallery was directed by Álvaro Castagnino. The exhibition presented the blueprints and floor plans, wire sculptures, and drawings; also, the text was written by art critic Hugo Monzón. The catalogue cover has a drawing by León Ferrari. 

Roberto Amigo
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of the personal archives of Alicia and León Ferrari, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo personal León Ferrari.