Rizzoli International Publications
John Chamberlain: New Sculpture will be published in conjunction with two recent exhibitions by the venerable sculptor at Gagosian Gallery’s New York and London venues. Chamberlain is best known for his distinctive metal sculptures, constructed from discarded automobile-body parts and other modern industrial detritus, which he began making in the late 1950s. His works boldly contrast the everyday, industrial origin of materials with a cumulative formal beauty, often underscored by the given paint finish of the constituents. The process of construction has its roots in industrial fabrication, given that mechanical car crushers often impart preliminary form to his raw materials. Visibly emphasizing the original seams as well as the physical trace of his actions, Chamberlain emphatically constructs assemblages that unite seemingly disparate mechanical elements. Crumpling, crushing, bending, twisting, painting, and welding the metals to form individual objects, he combines them into aggregations, now on a monumental scale that is both imposing and thrilling. The new works are made of metal taken from mid-century American and European cars.
* > John Chamberlain’s work is represented in many major public collections, and has been the subject of over one hundred solo exhibitions worldwide. Thomas Crow is an American art historian and art critic, best known for his influential writing on the role of art in modern society and culture. He is the author of many books, including Modern Art in the Common Culture and The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent. He frequently contributes to journals such as Artforum, and works as the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.
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