John Chamberlain

(b. 1927)

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(b Rochester, Ind., 16 Apr. 1927).

American sculptor. His early sculpture, influenced by that of David Smith, was made largely from metal pipes, but in 1957 he began to incorporate scrap metal parts from cars in his work and from 1959 he concentrated on sculpture made entirely from crushed automobile parts welded together. Usually he retains the original colours, and the expressive energy of his work, with its twisted planes and crumpled surfaces, has been compared to that of Action Painting. Many of his compositions are intended for wall hanging rather than to stand on the ground. An example is Dolores James (1962, Guggenheim Mus., New York). Although he has continued with work of this type, which has been widely acclaimed, Chamberlain has also experimented with other types of sculpture and other media. In 1966, for example, he started using urethane foam, as in Koko-Nor II (1967, Tate, London): ‘the foam is very interesting to me. I thought it was very funny.’ He has also done abstract paintings and made experimental films.

Subjects: Art.

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