León Ferrari. Quisiera hacer una estatua (I would like to make a statue). c. 1964

León Ferrari Quisiera hacer una estatua (I would like to make a statue) c. 1964

  • Not on view

Written drawings by Ferrari are both drawings as texts and texts as drawings. Typically realized in an overflowing, ornate, and dramatic calligraphy, they feature sarcastic and politically loaded poems masterfully transcribed by the artist. Here Ferrari eloquently describes a statue he would like to create of Lyndon B. Johnson, then president of the United States. "Como Dios cuando mando sus arcángeles marinos a pelear contra los diablos" (As God when he sent his marine archangels to fight against the devils), the artist writes. The political irony with which Ferrari equates Johnson to God must be understood in the context of the artist's militant stance against American colonialism in Latin America and the Vietnam War.

Gallery label from Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016.
Ink on paper
39 1/4 x 27 7/8" (99.7 x 70.8 cm)
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Connie Butler
Object number
© 2020 León Ferrari
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

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Exhibition history

MoMA Exh. #2074: "Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel", 6th Floor, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Gallery, April 5, 2009 - June 15, 2009
and tour: Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, November 24, 2009 - March 1, 2010, Porto Alegre, Fundacao Ibere Camargo, April 8 - July 11, 2010

MoMA Exh. #2152: "I Am Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing", The Paul J. Sachs Drawings Galleries, March 23 - September 19, 2011

MoMA, "Leon Ferrari Memorial", October 11, 2013 - March 24, 2014

MoMA Exh. #2335: "Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980", 6th Floor, The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Gallery, September 5, 2015 - January 3, 2016


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