The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, November 26, 2014


MoMA Opens First Museum Exhibition to Explore the Work of Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel
León Ferrari, (Argentine, born 1920), Untitled from the series Relecturas de la Biblia (Rereadings of the Bible), c. 1988. Cut-and-pasted printed papers on black paper, 10 7/16 x 13 3/8" (26.5 x 34 cm) Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari. Archivo y Colección, Buenos Aires © 2009 Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari. Archivo y Colección, Buenos Aires Photograph by: Adrían Rocha Novoa.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel is the first major museum retrospective in the United States to survey the work of León Ferrari (Argentine, b. 1920) and Mira Schendel (Brazilian, b. Switzerland, 1919–1988), and to explore their significant contributions to contemporary art. Working separately over several decades in neighboring Latin American countries during the latter half of the twentieth century, each created an oeuvre of works of art fundamentally based in language. At a time when Western artists were incorporating letters, words, text, and language as a functional component of their art, Ferrari and Schendel distinctively addressed language as a major visual subject matter, considering the material body of language, its manifestation as a written word and voice, and its use as a metaphor for the human world. As contemporaries, though never collaborators, the two artists shared experiences of disillusion and exile that determined parallels and divergences in the art they produced.

Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel brings together some 200 works in a range of media, including ceramics, paintings, sculptures, installations, and drawings, from public and private collections in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, London, and the U.S., including that of The Museum of Modern Art. The majority of the works in the exhibition come from the Mira Schendel Estate (with thanks to the collaboration of Galeria Millan in São Paulo) and León Ferrari’s personal collection, and many of these works are being shown in the United States for the first time.

Organized by Luis Pérez-Oramas, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, with the assistance of Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition is on view from April 5 through June 15, 2009, in The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Gallery on the sixth floor.

“While the exhibition is intended to juxtapose the common themes shared in the work of these two artists, it constitutes a full retrospective of each artist’s career,” says Mr. Pérez-Oramas. “Ferrari and Schendel are visual artists who never abandon the word. They make it the center of the work—the word as a limitless substitute for the human voice. Ferrari and Schendel give us opaque texts as visual fields; wounded, fragmented, obsessive signs; abandoned, delirious, solitary letters. It is not language that shines through, but writing—whether abstract or textual, alphabetic or architectural, deformed or infinitesimal, nominal or transitive—and, above all, its body: the graphic gesture.”

Tangled Alphabets presents many groupings of works, and is organized loosely chronologically, presenting the evolution of the two artists’ work from the late 1950s through the late 1980s for Schendel, and from the late 1950s through 2007 for Ferrari. The exhibition begins in the late 1950s with an examination of the artists’ use of line, form, and texture, starting with early still-life paintings by Schendel and ceramic vessels by Ferrari. This is followed by a comprehensive look at the artists’ use of words, letters, and phrases, as exemplified through a selection of their language-based works on paper from the 1960s and 1970s. Next, a dramatic display of their three-dimensional works from the 1960s and 1970s—Ferrari’s steel sculptures and Schendel’s paper sculptures and graphic objects—features many works that hang from the ceiling. Both artists made work of political and religious protest, examples of which are on view in a subsequent gallery, and range in date from the mid-1960s to the late 1990s in the case of Ferrari. The exhibition concludes with Schendel’s last series of large paintings from the late 1980s, and Ferrari’s most recent hanging sculptures in polyurethane from 2006 and 2007.

The early 1960s were crucial years in the development of the artists’ work. Ferrari and Schendel started to derive work from language, making intricate works on paper. During this time in North America and Europe, the 1960s saw the emergence of Conceptual art. Although the work of Ferrari and Schendel is contemporary with the birth of Conceptualism, it is distinctively different. Since they address language as a material presence, a body of signs and traces, brushstrokes and gestures, far more than as a vehicle of concepts or ideas, they are more concerned with the visual appearance of language. In fact, the essence of their art lies in its execution, making each work an unrepeatable operation, which is the opposite of Conceptual art.

Highlighted in the first section of the exhibition are two key works from the 1960s. Ferrari’s Cuadro escrito (Written Drawing) (1964), is a “written drawing” on which a handwritten text on the surface of the paper describes a nonexistent painting and what this painting would look like, while also producing an argument against religion, God, and the deification of painting. Schendel’s Untitled (Achilles) (Sem titulo [Achilles]) (1964) is a large oil painting depicting a doorway, over which an English sentence that references Achilles, taken from the introduction to a book of religious poems, has been written in stenciled capital letters.

The exhibition proceeds with works by Ferrari and Schendel that use symbols and patterns based in poetry rather than actual text. Both artists maintained friendships with significant poets—Haroldo de Campos in the case of Schendel; Rafael Alberti in the case of Ferrari. Ferrari’s Sin titulo (Sermón de la sangre) (Untitled [Sermon of the blood]) (1962), is based on a poem by Alberti and is comprised of two planes of lines that join in a complex labyrinth of black and blood-red linear gestures and crisscrosses. This work can be compared to Schendel’s series of sculptural works begun in the 1960s, such as Droguinha (Little nothing) (1966) and Objetos gráficos (Graphic Objects) (mid-1960s), which hang from the ceiling of the galleries. The Droguinhas are made of pieces of Japanese paper, twisted into ropes, which are then knotted and reknotted, thus symbolizing a chain that links embroidery with language and the frustration and confusion of a knot that cannot be untied. The Objetos gráficos emphasize Schendel’s interest in graphic letters, signs and symbols, and address the notion of transparency as the works are placed in between plexi sheets that encourage the viewer to see them from both sides.

Further in the exhibition are dramatic works in which the artists expressed their ideas about politics, history, religion, faith, and the Catholic Church. Schendel’s series of works on paper from 1975, Homenagem a Deus-pai do Ocidente (Homage to God-father of the West) examines the contradictions in the Catholic Church through floating words, symbols, hermetic paraphrases, and sentences taken from the Bible. Also included is Schendel’s Ondas paradas de probabilidade (Still waves of probability) (1969), a monumental work comprising thousands of translucent nylon threads that extend from ceiling to floor besides a Biblical text from the Book of Kings that is printed on an acrylic sheet. It was first shown at the São Paulo Biennial in 1969, and was installed there again, in her honor, in 1994, and has only been shown once since then until its debut in this exhibition. Juxtaposing these works is Ferrari’s Juicio final (Last Judgment) (1994), a large poster of Michelangelo’s famous painting of the same title, the surface of which Ferrari covered with bird excrement, which acts as a form of writing expressing the artist’s desire to question the concept of Hell and the Bible’s writings about torture for sinners in the afterlife.

The exhibition concludes with the most recent work of each artist. In Schendel’s final series of paintings, Sarrafos (Splints) (1987), large white monochromes with attached black bars appear as incomplete frames, mute gestures that might redeem the silence of painting. Ferrari’s recent hanging sculptures, which are untitled and date from 2006 and 2007, are made from polyurethane and plastic, and include bones and other materials.

León Ferrari was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1920. His earliest works were done at the end of the 1950s, while he was working in Rome, Italy. He made sculptures in clay and plaster stylistically connected to the abstract tendencies of the period. Beginning in the 1960s, Ferrari conceived a personal style of abstract drawings in which gestural elements and writing intermix. Later, he abandoned avant-garde formalism to practice more political and confrontational forms of art-making. He played a key role in the Argentine vanguard during this period and participated in important artistic and political events such as Tucumán Arde, an avant-garde movement in Argentina in the late 1960s. Forced into political exile, Ferrari lived in São Paulo, Brazil, between 1976 and 1991, a time in which he reconsidered the techniques of his work and concentrated on forms closer to conceptual art. León Ferrari is still fully active in the contemporary Argentine art scene, and at 89, is today one of the most productive artists in Latin America.

Mira Schendel was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1919, and began her artistic training in Milan, Italy, in 1936. As a child, she was immersed in the most cultivated intellectual milieu in Italy, where her mother married Count Tommaso Gnoli, an aristocrat and intellectual in charge of the famous Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense. She studied art, philosophy, and theology, and spent her early youth in the Brera Palace, privately experiencing one of the most exquisite collections of art in the world. Schendel went to Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1941, while fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II. In 1945, she moved to Rome, Italy, and later to Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1949, where she began to produce paintings and ceramic works while teaching and publishing poetry. Following an invitation to show at the first São Paulo Biennial in 1951, she moved to that city in 1953. A solitary artist, Mira Schendel was aware of the most important avant-garde chapters in her adopted country and exchanged with crucial intellectual figures of the XXth Century, from poets to philosophers and critics and fellow artists, becoming a central reference for the Brazilian cultural scene after 1965. Schendel died in Brazil in 1988.





Last Week News

April 4, 2009

Baroque 1620 - 1800: Style In The Age of Magnificence Opens at Victoria & Albert Museum

Artist Yoko Ono Unveils "Promised Piece" to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

SFMOMA Announces Planning Phase for New Wing to Double Gallery Space

Picasso Portrait from the Collection of Julian Schnabel Highlights Christies Impressionist Sale

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Cuts Staff, Salaries, Budget and will Reasses Exhibition Schedule

National Gallery of Art Acquires Seminal Painting by Norman Lewis

Art Gallery of Ontario Remix Exhibition Redefines the 21st-century Indian Artist

Collection of Prints and Drawings: Jakob S. Boeskov: Siggimund at Statens Museum for Kunst

Indianapolis Museum of Art Presents Fashion in Bloom in the Paul Fashion Arts Gallery

Art of India Past and Present Opens at Peabody Essex Museum

VMFA Acquires "Spectacular" Picture Scroll From India and 1888 Oil Portrait by "Best Woman Painter in History"

Flying Goldfish Feature in I Wish I Am Fish, a New Performance by Artist Paola Pivi

Old Meets New in Photography Exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum

Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges

"Just A Moment, Please," A New L.A.-Based Public Art Project By Amely Spoetzl Presented By ArtLab21

Frank Gehry Selected to Design Eisenhower National Memorial

Film Director Mike Figgis and Tate Liverpool Work Together on Film Project

Bernard Plossu. The Land of Landscapes

British Artist Susan Collins at De La Warr Pavillion

Fake or Faint Exhibition Project Presents Amy Granat, Annja Krautgasser and Katrin Mayer

April 3, 2009

Jordaens - The Making of a Masterpiece Opens at Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht

Awasia Announces Sale of Chinese Contemporary Art To The Getty Museum

Magnificent Paintings by JMW Turner Alongside Related Works by the Old Masters at Tate

1880s Worsham-Rockefeller Bedroom Is Given to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Opus Art Takes a Fresh Approach to Still Life this Spring

Ragnar Kjartansson At The Pavilion of Iceland for the Biennale di Venezia

New Alphonse Mucha Appears on Auction in New York City

Photographs of the Aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire 1871

Strong Sales and Attendance at The AIPAD Photography Show New York

C. Emlen Urban: Lancaster's Architect at the Demuth Museum

BES Photo 2008: André Gomes, Edgar Martins, Luís Palma

Discover the Resilience of Humankind Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan at the Asheville Art Museum

Robert Rauschenberg's Enormous Periwinkle Shaft Installation Now On View at Heather James Fine Art

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Pin Collection Exhibited for First Time at Museum of Arts and Design

Mapfre Foundation Cultural Institute Presents Fazal Sheikh

Rome Art Coterie 7th National Juried Art Exhibition

Scion's National Art Tour Installation 5: Self Portrait To Open In Minneapolis - J.Shea, Codak, Eye One To Attend

Vivid Sydney - A Celebration of Music, Light and Creativity

Kids Explore Powerful Figures Through Time During April School Vacation Week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

April 2, 2009

Schaulager in Basel Assembles 200 Paintings and Sculptures for this Year's Exhibition

New Museum to Present Life & Achievement of Walt Disney Opening Fall 2009

Scheffer's Painting of Christ the Comforter Discovered in a Church in Rural Minnesota

International Design Museum in Munich Opens Democratic Design: IKEA

Sotheby's will Stage its Scottish Pictures Auction in London for the First Time

Moscow Museum of Modern Art Opens Christian Dior: 60 Years of Photography

Revised Plans for New Tate Modern Building Receive Planning Permission

Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko Exclusively at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Art 40 Basel Announces Art Premiere: 19 Gallery-curated Projects

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum Shows Virgin with the Child as Part of the Guest Work Programme

Zoe Leonard: Photographs Opens at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich

High Museum Extends Hours and Special Offers for the First Emperor in April

Edinburgh Art Festival Receives Money to Establish a Commissioning Fund

Cheekwood Announces Special Lecture with Artist William Christenberry

Walker Art Center Announces Exhibition that Examines the Magic and Mysteries of Conceptual Art

Artist and Writer Harland Miller to Present a Collection of Paintings and Montages at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Your Pal, Cliff: Selections from the H. C. Westermann Study Collection

Art Fair ROMA: The Road to Contemporary Art Opens Today

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Announces "The Tsars and the East: Gifts from and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin"

Christie's Prints and Multiples Sale in April Features a Strong Selection of Modern Art

Masterpieces of African and Oceanic Art from Barbier-Mueller Museum on View This Summer at Metropolitan Museum

April 1, 2009

Researchers in Germany Use Computed Tomography to Examine Hidden Face in Nefertiti

Eleven Artists Selected for Final Round of Sculpture Competition for New National Museum

Chateau de Versailles Presents Court Pomp and Royal Ceremonies: Court Dress in Europe

New Silver & Metals Gallery at the Bowes Museum Sets Shining Example

Calder Jewellery Exhibition Opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Sotheby's to Hold Prints Auction on April 30 and May 1, 2009

Josef Koudelka's Invasion 68 Prague Opens at Centro Cultural Universitario in Tlatelolco

Getty Museum Draws Upon Its Own Collection of European Drawings to Illustrate Exhibition

Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet at Berkeley Art Museum

George Morland: Poet of English Country Life Opens at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

High Museum Commissions 12 New Works by Photographer Alec Soth for "Picturing the South" Series

Milton Keynes Gallery Opens Comprehensive Exhibition of Work by the Late Artist James Lee Byars

Tate Britain Announces Major Exhibition of Richard Long's Works of Art

Columbia River Maritime Museum Names Dr. Samuel E. Johnson as New Executive Director

Museum Extends Cézanne and Beyond Through the End of May

Former Director of the Portland Museum Daniel E. OLeary is New President of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute

Redesigned Royal Ontario Museum Magazine Revealed

Stanford Artists Swept Up in Rising Tide of Environmental Awareness

Artists Invited to Participate in Venice Carnevale 2009 Poster Contest

11th Edition of Artparis Welcomed 43.000 Visitors

New Orleans Museum of Art Presents A Discourse in Abstraction: Jennifer Odem and NOMA's Permanent Collection

Superior Room Service and Fabulous Dreams: Art Show Presented by Abstract Artist Susan Olmetti and Eye-wear Sculptors

Columbia Museum of Art Announces Fundraising Gala: Soirée du Soleil and Online Auction Featuring a Week in Provence

March 31, 2009

400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson's Voyage to Manhattan Celebrated at Rijksmuseum

The Getty Museum Presents the Work of Paul Outerbridge, A Gifted Master of Photography

Eva Rothschild Takes on Tate Britain Duveens Commission 2009

Selected Works from the Collection of the Knight of Glin to be Offered at Christie's in May

Major Photographer of the 20th Century, Helen Levitt, Dies at 95

The Italian Primitives from the Altenburg Collection on View at the Jacquemart-André Museum

First Major Exhibition in the U.S. for Suiko Takeshita at Nakamura Japan

First Exhibition in Ireland for Elizabeth Peyton at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Portrait Exhibition to Celebrate the Contribution of Gay People and Gay Icons to History and Culture

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Announces George Segal: Street Scenes

Royal Academy of Arts Presents an Exhibition of Works by Adrian Berg RA

Alain-Dominique Gallizia Commissions Graffiti Works for Grand Palais Exhibition

Sotheby's to Offer 19th Century European Art Including Orientalist Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture

It is What it is: Conversations About Iraq, A New Commission for the Three M Project

One of the Most Spectacular Mosaic Floors Ever Discovered in Israel was Restored and Renovated

New Orleans Museum of Art Announces The Mind's Eye: Without Subject Matter, What Does the Artist See?

Wartime Writings by Sartre, Gide and Others Exhibited for the First Time in the U.S. at The New York Public Library

Walker Art Center's Mack Lecture Series Presents Collage and Installation Artist Mark Bradford

The Peoples House: A Temple of Democracy 150th Anniversary of the Volunteer State Capitol

March 30, 2009

Exhibition Features Royal Luminaries Depicted as Children in the Old Master Styles

Havana Biennial Opens a Space for Confrontation and Reflection in its 10th Edition

Whitechapel to Reopen with Site Specific Artwork by Goshka Macuga that Focuses on Guernica

PhotoEspaña 2009 will Host 72 Exhibitions at this Year's Edition

Major Exhibition of Greek Masterpieces Casts New Light on the Lives of Women in Ancient Athens

Nick Park Unveils New Wallace & Gromit Experience at the Science Museum

Thomas Weski Leaves Haus der Kunst for New Post at Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig

An International Sculpture Competition for Perth's Premier Civic Space

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Presents Works by Ten Renowned Artists

Getty Exhibition Illustrates the Inherent Commonalities of Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Dixon Gallery to Open Regional Dialect: American Scene Paintigs from the John and Susan Horseman Collection

Four Artists Nominated for the 2009 Marcel Duchamp Prize

Exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery Brings Together Tacita Dean's Three Most Recent Films

Wolverhampton Art Gallery Launches New 'Hire Space'

Aperture Foundation Announces Publication of JPEGS: Photographs by Thomas Ruff

Atlas Gallery Opens Photograph Exhibition by One of Italy's Greatest: Mario Giacomelli

Bruce Mau to Give "Massive Change: the Future of Design and Life on Earth" Talk at The Commons

University of Richmond Museums Opens Chi-Yun, Breath Resonance in Contemporary Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site