Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Kenneth Kemble writes about the dilemma of being simultaneously an art critic and an artist, mainly when one’s own work is being exhibited. The matter is worsened by having his wife, Silvia Torrás, included in the show as well. Also, Kemble critically mentions the work of Peruvian artist Fernando de Szyszlo.

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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 is a pivotal document because Kemble underscores a substantial problem: being an art critic and an artist, at the same time. Also, he is interested in highlighting the negative reception given to the work of Peruvian artist Fernando de Szyszlo.

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.