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3.31.2012

Guggenheim presents “Choices”, a major retrospective of John Chamberlain.

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
This exhibition is curated by Senior Curator Susan Davidson and supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Chamberlain was first celebrated at the Guggenheim in a 1971 retrospective. This show examines over than one hundred works made during his sixty-year carrer. One can see works from Chamberlain’s earliest monochromatic iron sculptures and experiments in foam, Plexiglas, and paper, to his final large-scale foil pieces, which have never been shown in the United States.

John Chamberlain is an American-born artist who was born in Indiana in 1927. He briefly studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the avant-garde Black Mountain College. He created energic, dynamic, and vibrant sculptures hewn from disused car parts that can remind us sculptures made by the French-born artist Cesar . They both brought the Abstract Expressionist style of painting into three dimensions. Chamberlain created originale and unique sculptures not only by the materials he used but also because he painted them ! There are examples of airbrushing from the 1960s, drips and pours from the 1970s, sandblasting from the 1980s, and freehand and stenciled patterns from the 1990s forward. The  sculptures range from the size of a fist to the girth of a generous hug to the height of a tree. Most recently he used vintage cars. The sculptures grew in scale and possess a new-found gravity. He was often inspired by small sculptures that served as models for larger ones.

He's an outsider. He's not related to any particular art movement and he's well-known as a standard-bearer of sculptural practice. Chamberlain's inherent creativity was enhanced by a passion for music and language, which gave way tot he noted color and movement in his works. His work is represented in many major public collections. He also made abstract colour paintings, films, and photographs. John Chamberlain: CHoices opened at the Guggenheim on February 24th and will remain on view through May 13th, after which it will travel to Bilbao, Spain. 
   

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