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


Document first page thumbnail
Editorial Categories [?]

The critic Hugo Parpagnoli describes the ongoing condition of expression and the different processes undertaken by Kenneth Kemble throughout his career. In his opinion, Kemble’s recent works transform pre-manufactured objects into constituent elements of a new visual composition generating quite different meaning.


Kenneth Kemble (Buenos Aires, 1923–1998) was one of the principal artists in the Informalist movement in Argentina. Beginning in 1956, Kemble experimented with collages, assemblages, reliefs, informal paintings, and signs. Kemble frequently participated in the exhibitions of the Asociación Arte Nuevo, a hotbed for abstract art. In 1959, Kemble was part of the exhibition Movimiento Informal at the Galería Van Riel. In 1961, the artist was the motivating force behind a show that presented “destructive art.” Kemble also worked as an art critic, principally between 1960 and 1963 at the Buenos Aires Herald (a newspaper for the British community in Buenos Aires, founded in 1876). In the following decades, he continued his reflective work with an emphasis on the theory of the creative process.  

Hugo Parpagnoli, the art critic of the newspaper La Prensa and contributor to the magazine Sur was also the director of the Museo de Arte Moderno in the 1960s, continuing the foundational work started by Rafael Squirru. Among his curatorial practice, the 1964 exhibition of Argentinean art at the Pepsi-Cola Building in New York stands out as a particularly important achievement. 

In this document Parpagnoli comments on the Kemble’s exhibition held at Galería Lirolay, directed by Germaine Derbecq (the French art critic married to Pablo Curatella Manes), and supported by the Museo de Arte Moderno, whose director at the time was Rafael Squirru. Lacking its own premises, the museum organized exhibitions in different galleries. At this show, Kemble exhibited a series of oil paintings and collages produced since 1956 with a written introduction by the artist himself. From the art page of La Prensa, Parpagnoli always credited Kemble with a seminal role in the spread of Informalismo.

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