In 1954, Rafael Ferrer was living in New York, working as an Afro-Cuban drummer by night and, by day, focusing on his real passion: art. It was then at 21 that Ferrer, a self-taught artist, developed his craftsmanship in sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, and performance art. Fifty-six years later, Retro/Active: The Works of Rafael Ferrer is a look back at his work that garnered him international praise for his guerrilla art actions in New York and Philadelphia in the late ’60s and also explores his assemblage sculptures, kayaks, and tents of the ’70s. And although Ferrer, who also teaches art, has shown at the Met, the MOMA, the Smithsonian, and galleries around the world, this current exhibition is part of El Museo’s FOCOS series, highlighting the achievements of mature, underrecognized artists. Well, it’s about time.

June 10-Aug. 22, 2010