Friday, 23 December 2011

John Chamberlain, 1927 - 2011

John Chamberlain, Tambourinefrappe, 2010
John Chamberlain, the artist who made sculptures out of crushed cars, died on 21 December, 2011. Read obituaries in The Guardian, and in The New York Times.
Chamberlain found his material in 1957 when he made Shortstop from  2 car bumpers, run over repeatedly by another vehicle, and welded together. Although best known for the car junk work, Chamberlain also made work in diverse materials, including urethane foam, sheet metal and paper bags as well as making prints, paintings, photographs and films such as The Secret Life of Hernando Cortez (1968) featuring the Warhol superstars Taylor Mead and Ultra Violet
Common material is what an artist should use because it doesn't get in the way of doing an uncommon thing. (John Chamberlain quoted by Michael Auping in Ammann, J-C et al (1984) Art of Our Time: The Saatchi Collection, [Vol.] 2, London: Lund Humphries, p14.)
Read a statement by Chamberlain, made in in 1982, on the Chinati Foundation website, and watch a video of him making (or 'directing') work on the Gagosian Gallery website.
A comprehensive retrospective of Chamberlain's career will be presented at the  Guggenheim Museum in New York from 24 February to 13 May, 2012.
John Chamberlain, S, 1959

John Chamberlain, Superjuke, 2011
John Chamberlain, Dolores James, 1962

John Chamberlain, Untitled (Couch), 1990

John Chamberlain, Essex, 1960
John Chamberlain, Turm von Klythie, installation in Q205 shopping mall, Friedrichstadtpassagen, Berlin

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