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John Chamberlain Biography

John Chamberlain is an American artist best-known for his sculptures made of old automobile parts. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and moved to New York upon graduation. In 1957, be started working with scrap metal from cars. The car parts were welded and contorted into compact shapes, which he then spray-painted. His sculptures vary in size, the heaviest series weighing about 300 lbs. It is said that Chamberlain brought the “Abstract Expressionist style of painting into three dimensions.”

 

In 1961, Chamberlain was shown in the “Art of Assemblage” exhibition held at the MoMA. His work was shown along with Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso, and from there he was invited to participate in shows all around Europe. Chamberlain also created some paintings and folded foam pieces in the early 1960s, but never strayed too far from to his signature material. In 2011, Chamberlain sold Nutcracker (1958) from the Allan Stone Estate for $4.7 million, his highest auction price to date. Chamberlain passed away later that same year.

John Chamberlain has work featured in the permanent collections of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Tate Modern in London, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna, the Museum Brandhorst in Munich, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

 

Related Categories: Creased/Crinkled/WrinkledAssemblageModes of TransportationArt of the 1960sPost-War American ArtTangled FormsObsolescenceLine, Form and ColorFocus on MaterialsUse of Common Materials.