Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this document, Kenneth Kemble writes about the project of the Fundación Torcuato Di Tella and the creation of an Art Center based on the idea that industrial progress must be accompanied by the development of culture. The collection was exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts], along with an exhibition of Alberto Burri and eleven young Argentinean artists in whose works affectedness and elegance endure. These were tendencies with which they competed for the Di Tella Prize. Kemble also transcribed Lionello Venturi’s opinion.

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Kenneth Kemble (Buenos Aires, 1923–1998) was one of the main artists of the Informalist movement in Argentina. Beginning in 1956, he experimented with collages, assemblages, reliefs, and informal and sign painting. Kemble participated in the exhibitions of the Asociación Arte Nuevo [New Art Association], a bastion of abstract trends. In 1959, he was part of the exhibition Movimiento Informal [Informalist Movement] at the Van Riel Gallery. In 1961, Kemble was the driving force behind the exhibition that presented arte destructivo [destructive art]. He practiced art criticism, mainly at the Buenos Aires Herald (a newspaper founded in 1876 for the English community in the capital) between 1960 and 1963. In the following decades, he continued his written reflections with an emphasis on the theory of the creative process.

This document takes part of his series of art critiques published in the Buenos Aires Herald, presenting a solid, interpretive view of Argentinean art of the early 1960s. In his news articles, Kemble was attentive to both the emergence of a new generation of artists as well as vanguardist expressions, Insofar as the informalist trend followers were being consolidated among others. the Instituto Di Tella first shows took place, the Otra Figuración [Another Figuration] and Pop Art appeared, in addition to the emergence of a new type of collector.

Within Kenneth Kemble’s series of articles, this document is relevant due to its subject matter: both the artistic policies of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella as well as the characterization of Argentinean art toward an affected trend. Also, it is of interest because it brings to the fore the influence of the Italian critic Lionello Venturi, a consultant in the acquisitions of the Di Tella collection.

Researcher
Roberto Amigo.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of the personal archives of Julieta Kemble, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Archivo Kenneth Kemble, Argentina.