Rochester/Indiana 1927 - 2011 New York
John Chamberlain is known to a wide audience as a sculptor, who used scrap-metal auto parts to create his works. While this is indeed the raw material for most of his sculptures, his works are characterised by a poetic quality, which by far exceeds this material aspect. Points of departure for his artistic language were his ability to weld metal as well as his proximity to the painters of American Abstract Expressionism. Chamberlain in effect found a three dimensional form for their colour field paintings and expressive abstractions. However, soon another element emerged as defining element of his work. Alongside the symbolically archetypal American material of car scrap-metal and the powerful use of colour, the works were marked by a combination of lyrical or highly referential titles, which seem to tell a story and formal solutions which as a result of a kind of artistic metamorphosis, offer glimpses of figures or objects. Chamberlain thereby succeeded to develop a completely autonomous artistic position and to create a distinctive and multi-layered body of work. John Chamberlain’s work has been shown in countless exhibitions, among others at documenta and the Venice Biennale. Important retrospective exhibitions were hosted by the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and his works can be found in numerous important collections.