León Ferrari (Argentina 1920 - 2013)


León Ferrari’s subversive practice spanned sculpture, painting, drawing, assemblage, film, collage, mail art, poetry, and sound. Originally trained as an electrical engineer, Ferrari began making sculptures while in Italy for his daughter’s hospital treatments, and his studio practice quickly expanded. Investigations into language are central to Ferrari’s work; his drawings, sculptures, and collages often incorporate text and calligraphic patterns in order to consider power dynamics and social hierarchies related to religion and the state. His painting Last Judgement (1985) and toaster sculpture Torradeira (2000) offer more explicit, wry critiques of Catholicism as they re contextualize iconic religious imagery. The pope himself has condemned Ferrari’s provocations. The artist won a Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. His work has sold for six figures at auction and belongs in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museo Reina Sofía, the Centre Pompidou, and the Museu de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, among others.