Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Kenneth Kemble writes about the collective art exhibition at Galería Bonino (Buenos Aires) by artists Martha Peluffo, Jorge de la Vega, Juan C. Badaracco, and Rómulo Macció. He introduces them as the new academy of good taste, with the exception of Macció’s work, supported by both the color contrast as well as its lack of value contrast. Kemble praises the aesthetic responsibility of Galería Bonino.

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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.

This document is of importance since it is one of only a few negative opinions Kemble offers regarding the distinguished artists of the 1960s; particularly—with regard to his preferences—is the contrast shown between the works of Jorge de la Vega and Rómulo Macció. Also, Kemble points out the role of the art market in moving toward the good taste; that is to say, toward the loss of the vanguard’s radicalism. In this sense, by mentioning Galería Bonino, he makes an interesting case regarding his opinion of the internationalization of Argentinean art during the 1960s, mainly concerning the New York-based office of this gallery.

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.