Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Kenneth Kemble writes about Luis Alberto Wells and Rubén Santantonín and considers them to be artistas malditos [“maudit”] artists presenting an innovative art; although, it was difficult for the public attending at Galería Lirolay to digest it. Rather than paintings or sculptures, these were artistic “concoctions”, executed with discarded material, and in his opinion, they could be defined as “painted reliefs”. In another exhibition, Julio Barragán presented abstractions consciously composed of primary colors, and inspired by landscapes.

Annotations

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.

An outstanding document, given the analysis of Rubén Santantonín’s work. Kemble had previously devoted an article in which he delved into formal aspects and the audience’s reception.

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.