"The Hell"

León Ferrari, 1920

Object . Artist Collection . 2000

León Ferrari was born in Buenos Aires in 1920. A self-educated artist, he began doing art in 1955, working with different materials -clay, plaster, cement, wood and stainless steel wire. In 1976, he left Argentina due to political reasons and settled in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he resumed his artwork making metal sculptures, and exploring several other techniques such as photocopies, mailart, heliography, microfiches, video-texts, artist's books, etc. He returned to Buenos Aires in 1991, and continued doing artwork focusing on Christianism, and also the pastels and drawings which Noé Jitrik called Archeology of sign.

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In 1998, Diario de Poesía published "La bondadosa Crueldad", a collection of his poems later published by Argonauta. He also wrote articles for "Página/12" and other dailies.

Back in 2000 his exhibition "Infiernos e idolatrías" ("Hells and idolatries") at the Spanish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, featured his position against human and divine torture. One of the exhibition rooms showed 40 reproductions of famous depictions of hell in art history (by Michelangelo, Giotto, Bosch, etc.), while another showed his invented and replicated forms of Christian tortures but applying them to plaster Virgins, Sacred Hearts, and saints. The exhibition aroused the strong reaction of Catholic groups who put up an altar surrounded by flags and banners at ICI entrance. The groups said the rosary and threw trash, paint, and tear gas into the exhibition hall.

In 2001, at the Sylvia Vesco gallery he showed 30 collages made with the Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" and a book containing such images. Awards received include the 1997 Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers' Medal, the 1995 Guggenheim Fellowship, 1998 Buenos Aires Municipal Belgrano Salon, 2000 Costantini Award, 2003 Clamor Brzeska Award. He's honorary member of CAIA (Argentine Art Researchers Center) and founding member of CIHABAPAI (Godless Heretic Apostate Pagan Blasphemous Agnostic Atheists and Non Believers Club, in process of organization).


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