Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this document, Kenneth Kemble writes in defense of Argentinean art and counters the negative opinions made by art criticism in Scotland on a contemporary Argentinean painting and sculpture that were shown in Edinburgh. He states his rebuttal of the idea of exoticism.

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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.

The present document is a good example of the intrinsic significance given by the sanctioning of Argentinean art abroad, which is only one of the variables of internationalism at play. Kemble rejects the exotic perception of Latin American art promoted by the hegemonic centers.

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.