Argentine artist Leon Ferrari. Photo: Disclosure
Argentine artist Leon Ferrari. Photo: Disclosure

A from April 20th, the Pompidou Center in Paris presents the first exhibition of the work by León Ferrari (1920-2013) in a French museum, entitled La Bonadosa Crueldad. The Argentine artist was the author of a multiform work that combined plastic inventiveness and critical awareness. After studying engineering, he began to learn drawing in 1946. He moved to Italy with his family and made his first sculptures in 1952, which were exhibited in Milan in 1955. Upon returning to Buenos Aires, Ferrari resorted to new materials: wood and wire he used to make fragile and complex constructions.

In 1962, he began to explore the visuality of language in “written boards”. Dismayed by the violence of his time, particularly the Vietnam War, which received widespread press coverage, Ferrari devoted his work to highlighting the barbarism of the Western world.

With a production marked by a fierce tone against Christianity, in 1965, León Ferrari made the sculpture La civilización occidental y cristiana (Western Christian civilization), depicting Christ crucified on an American military plane. Exiled to Brazil in the late 1980s, he continued his practice of assembly and made a series of iconoclastic collages combining biblical representations of the Western pictorial tradition with images of violence published in the press. In São Paulo, Ferrari joined the experimental formations of the city with artists such as Regina Silveira, Julio Plaza, Carmela Gross, Alex Flemming, Marcelo Nietsche and Hudinilson. 

The exhibition is organized on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of León Ferrari. The Pompidou Center is the last stop on the tour of La Bonadosa Crueldad, which previously toured the Reina Sofía Museum, in Madrid (Spain), and the Van Abbe Museum, in Eindhoven (Holland). La Bonadosa Crueldad proposes a journey through the works, ideas and political struggles that crossed the life of the Argentine artist. Works that “dismantle the naturalized sequences of violence propagated by war, religion and other systems of power”, and that “invite those who look at them to stop, reflect and take a stand”, according to the artist’s foundation, which participates in the organization of the show and also made available a significant number of unpublished documents.

The exhibition is on view until August 29, 2022.

Read here on the artist's centenary.

Leave a comment

Please write a comment
Please write your name