Leon Ferrari

Argentina, 1920 - 2013


León Ferrari was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1920. Ferrari was a contemporary conceptual artist. He employed methods such as collage, photocopying and sculpture in wood, plaster or ceramics. He often used text, particularly newspaper clippings or poetry, in his pieces. His art often dealt with the subject of power and religion; images or statues of the saints, the Virgin Mary or Jesus may be found in cages, sinks, meat blenders or frying pans. He also dealt with issues of United States influence — in his best-known work, La Civilización Occidental y Cristiana ("Western-Christian Civilization", 1965), Christ appears crucified on a fighter plane, as a symbolic protest against the Vietnam War. Ferrari also wrote articles for left-leaning newspaper Página 12. His work and his politics brought him into some controversy and notoriety. He was forced into exile in São Paulo, Brazil from 1976 to 1991 following threats by the military dictatorships. His 2001 exhibition in Spain, which dealt with torture and the Catholic Church, was met with demonstrations and prayer meetings, and even paint-throwing and tear gas. In 2004, his exhibition in Recoleta, Buenos Aires, was forced to close following intervention by a Catholic priest and a subsequent court order. Protests and government action allowed the exhibition to reopen. He died on July 25 2013. He was 92 years old.

Artworks by Leon Ferrari