Luis Wells courtesy of Maman Fine Art

There is a little slice of art history hidden in plain sight on Libertador. Luis Wells: De La Destrucción Al Juego (destruction game) opened September 1st at Maman Fine Art Gallery.

Who is Luis Wells? The famed Argentine contemporary artist is part of the informalist movement that most notably took the country by storm, and caused a scandal, in 1961 when the exhibit “Destructive Art” first opened at the Lirolay gallery (of which Wells was a part). It was generally regarded — in the fashion of all new art movements — as “distasteful.”

According to informalist member and fellow destructive art exhibitionist Kenneth Kemble: “…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.” 

Wells and his fellow Informalists. Image courtesy Centro Cultural Recoleta.
Wells and his fellow Informalists. Image courtesy Centro Cultural Recoleta.

Creative capactiy is out in full force at the exhibition, which for the first time provides a retrospective of Wells’ early work from that crucial time: 1958 to 1965. The pieces on display utilize waste material—old paint cans, wood—look closely and you can even see old newspapers, the headlines decipherable to the discerning eye.

An education certainly, to the lay person and art history major alike.

What?

Luis Wells: De La Destruccion Al Juego

Where?

Maman Fine Art Gallery, Avenida Libertador 2475

When?

Through October 15th, Open Monday through Friday 11—20 and Saturday 11—15