From left to right: Kemble, López Anaya, Torras, Wells and Roiger
From left to right: Kemble, López Anaya, Torras,Roiger and Wells
In Argentina, Informalism was less an arriving point than an open door towards “forbidden lands” where modern art had mostly stopped to exist towards the mid 1950’s. Kenneth Kemble pointed out in a controversial article: “The contribution of the Informalist group and those who followed it was limited and spare in fact, but it made a difference after all. They did not create the apparent school of thought, only perhaps to a mediocre circle, who copied its style, whether imported or not. At least they called for a rebellion and planted a myriad of open solutions where everything seemed possible. From then on, there were no longer any castrating inhibitions, no more limitations to “good taste” and to the exquisite refinement of our ‘elite’, who could dampen again the creative capacity. The possibility of rescuing our own personality through the open investigation of all pre-established norms and imposed decrepit rulings flourished”.
The experience of Destructive Art was connected to a somewhat collective sensation. They weren’t peaceful times. A Buenos Aires newspaper affirmed in those days: “At any moment of the so called Cold War, as in the present, we are being exposed to the dangers of a nuclear war rooted on a crisis which originated in Berlin. Even when taking for granted the wish for a peaceful solution, as acclaimed by the Soviet Minister - be it a sincere expression for peace and a resolute will to prevent war - these premonitory events of the times tend to create an estate of collective and even universal hysteria, whose extreme importance is not easy to hide without ignoring the dramatic reality”.
On November 20, 1961, a group of artists made up of , , , , , , and , held the unusual and unexpected exhibit of Destructive Art at the Lirolay Gallery. The invitation card showed a picture of an old horse carriage (mateo), almost destroyed in an accident, surely due to a crash against a car in the middle of the road (photograph by Jorge Roiger).