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  • Provenance

    Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I'm more interested in seeing what the material tells me than in imposing my will on it.”John ChamberlainThe present lot, Opinion Hurling, 2006 is of a small compact form yet possesses a boundless energy. The black and white strips of varying width have been pinched and squeezed into a monumental force, as if just moments from now the two toned, metallic form will spiral right off its pedestal - taking on the dynamic movement of the automobile, the makings of which it was conceived. Opinion Hurling demonstrates Chamberlain’s remarkable skill in manipulating prefabricated materials and his meticulous use of color to dramatize the careful folds and form of his objects. Despite the intended chaos of the manipulated metal puckered and pushed, an ivory ribbon wraps itself around, through and in between its ebony surroundings.Sculptor John Chamberlain rose to fame in the 1950s by intuitively molding discarded automobile steel into three-dimensional structures that were simultaneously whimsical in color and imposing in form. The artist describes happening upon his medium and process by saying, “If you’re roaming around and have just passed the back of a body shop, this stuff is all over the place; it’s just marvelous…” (J. Chamberlain, quoted in M. Williamson, “John Chamberlain: Sculptor who gave new life to scrap-heap cars,” The Independent, January 5, 2012) While the final sculptural outcome is one of refined beauty, Chamberlain’s approach to form is one of roughness. He explains the making of an early composition by saying, “I took a fender. I didn’t want to use it as a fender, so I drove over it a few times to rearrange its shape, which was the beginning of what I now know as process.” (J. Chamberlain in J. Sylvester, John Chamberlain: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculpture, 1954-1985, New York, 1986, p. 15) Chamberlain admires uncommon materials like scrap metal because it “doesn't get in the way of doing an uncommon thing,” allowing him to create stunning sculptures that re-imagine derelict metals as beautiful notes of an overall lyrical composition.


Ο ◆16

Opinion Hurling

painted, chromed steel
13 1/4 x 18 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (33.7 x 47.6 x 41.9 cm)
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and has been recorded in the archives of the John Chamberlain studio.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $221,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm