534 W 21st Street
NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by John Chamberlain, spanning four decades of this acclaimed artist’s career. The exhibition will open on March 1 and remain on view through April 2, 2011.
With works ranging from 1962 through 1990, the exhibition will present a selection of free-standing pieces and wall sculptures made in Chamberlain’s iconic idiom of crushed metal from car bodies and other detritus of modern industrial society. Since the late 1950s, Chamberlain’s practice has included the crumpling, welding and at times painting or spraying of discarded car parts, which he twists and bends to form dynamic, powerful assemblages. Notable for their everyday, industrial nature and their varying degrees of formal resilience and pliability, Chamberlain’s materials have also included Plexiglas (melted), urethane foam (carved, twisted and tied) and industrial-weight aluminum foil (compressed and wadded).
With their emphasis on spontaneous “fit” over pre-organized composition and their blend of boldness and lyricism, Chamberlain’s works have often been described as a three-dimensional expression of Abstract Expressionist painting. Along with Mark di Suvero, he represents a defining moment of American sculpture when the raw power and cultural relevance of industrial and vernacular materials came to surpass previous notions of sculptural beauty.
John Chamberlain was born in Rochester, Indiana, in 1927, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Black Mountain College, NC. He moved to New York in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism and credits his early influences to the paintings of de Kooning and Kline and the sculpture of David Smith. In addition to sculpture, Chamberlain has also produced paintings, drawings, prints and video. The Guggenheim Museum, New York, presented Chamberlain’s first retrospective in 1971, and it was followed by over 100 one-person exhibitions, most notably at the Kunsthalle Bern and Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (1979); the Dia Art Foundation (1983); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1986); the Staatlich Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (1991) and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1996). His work is permanently on view at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa (TX) and at Dia:Beacon (NY). He lives and works in Shelter Island, New York.