Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
Editorial Categories [?]

This article is an ironic commentary written by James Barry that negatively refers to the peculiar nature of the works exhibited at Galería Lirolay. Barry focuses on both the assortment of materials used by Kenneth Kemble and the prizes reached by his works.


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 for the English community in the capital, founded in 1876) between 1960 and 1963. Afterwards, he continued his written reflections, with an emphasis on the theory of the creative process.  

This exhibition took place at the Galería Lirolay, which was then under the direction of Germaine Derbecq, a French art critic married to Pablo Curatella Manes. This was Kenneth Kemble’s second solo show in 1960, organized by the Museo de Arte Moderno whose director was Rafael Squirru. The exhibition consisted of Kemble’s collages and oil paintings produced since 1956 with a written introduction by the artist himself. 

This document is of utmost interest as it is a—partially negative—critique of the show that was published in the Buenos Aires Herald, where Kemble himself was a contributor (see documents).

Roberto Amigo
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo Kenneth Kemble, Argentina.