New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930–2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions
November 21, 2007–February 25, 2008
In the early 1960s Ferrari made work in two styles: gestural drip drawings with entangled line structures, and what he called "written paintings"—drawings as texts and texts as drawings—whose striking visual qualities made them iconic in early Latin American Conceptualism. Through these two repertoires Ferrari was able to question the distinction between art and language—between pure visuality and codified information, and between graphic gesture and calligraphy. Untitled (after Rafael Alberti's Sermon of the Blood) was the piece that led Ferrari from gestural abstraction to his written paintings, and it therefore marks a turning point in his work. It was conceived as a visual interpretation of a poem by Rafael Alberti, a major Spanish modern poet and the artist's lifelong friend.