Spotlight

León Ferrari

Sicardi Ayers Bacino, Houston (SP22)

León Ferrari, Sin Título, de la Serie Relectura de la Biblia, 1988. Courtesy: Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari. Arte y Acervo © 

León Ferrari, Sin Título, de la Serie Relectura de la Biblia, 1988. Courtesy: Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari. Arte y Acervo © 

"Art is not beauty or novelty, art is effectiveness and disruption…” - León Ferrari

Sicardi Ayers Bacino proposes a curated one-person exhibition of drawings, sculpture, collages, and objects by León Ferrari for Frieze New York 2018, highlighting artwork from the early 1960s through the 1990s.

For more than 65 years, Ferrari (1920-2013) made work that was marked by his original approach to line: in drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures, he deployed line as a formally precise and conceptually loaded tool. In the early 1960s, Ferrari began exploring the relationships between word and line in his Cuadros escritos (Written Paintings) and Dibujos escritos (Written drawings). In his exhibition catalog Tangled Alphabets Museum of Modern Art curator Luis Pérez-Oramas describes Ferrari’s explosion of language’s “countless faces and incarnations, from voluntary silence to aphasia, passing along the way through whisper, prayer, accusation, sermon, dialogue, quotation, stutter, shout, onomatopoeia, collage, argument, alphabet, and poetry.”

Born in Buenos Aires, Ferrari began his career as an engineer. During a series of trips to Italy in the 1950s, he began making ceramics and exploring abstract art. By the mid-1960s, he began making works marked by a political consciousness. Ferrari’s formal concerns were matched by his strident critique of the Argentine “dirty war”: throughout his career, he made works that offered harsh indictments of war, social inequality, discrimination, and abuses of power. He lived in exile in Brazil during the 1970s and 1980s.