John Chamberlain - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 15, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of the artist
    Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York
    Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art, February 15, 1989, lot 257
    Private Collection, Europe
    Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco

  • Exhibited

    Amsterdam, Galerie Helen van der Meij, John Chamberlain: Tonks, April 21 - May 24, 1984
    New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, John Chamberlain: Choices, February 24 - May 13, 2012

  • Literature

    J. Sylvester, John Chamberlain: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculpture 1954 - 1985, New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1986, p. 204, cat. no. 743 S. Davidson, et al., John Chamberlain: Choices, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2012, p. 147, no. 74 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Embodying the qualities of timelessness, conceptual rigor and enduring beauty, the Private American Collection exemplifies a precise curatorial vision that deftly weds contemporary sensibilities to classical values. The result is a seminal group of works which is to be both distinctly of the now and everlasting in its resonance. Spanning the disciplines of painting, sculpture and photography, the collection was assembled with an unerring and discerning eye, a sincere reflection of the collectors’ sophisticated tastes and generous values.

    Grounding the following selection is a group of John Chamberlain works ranging from an important Untitled, 1961 cut-paper collage to an intimately scaled, but monumentally expressive, later metal sculpture, Tonk #10-83. The power and relevancy of these works is no less prevalent today than they were upon the works conception and creation. The texture of these pieces make them irresistibly tactile and approachable. In equal but opposite ways to the smooth perfection of Anish Kapoor’s Untitled acrylic cube, Tony Cragg’s ROUND THE BLOCK oscillates in the space it occupies through its malleable forms and soft tin patina. Obfuscating the boundary between sculpture and photography, paper drop (blue) by Wolfgang Tillmans, one of four examples offered in this selection, is a beautiful example of the artist’s ability to redefine the parameters of the medium of photography. Elegantly depicting the simplest of found forms, paper drop (blue) exudes an immediate and surreal beauty, dissolving the boundary between thought and feeling, viewer and object.

    An attentive curatorial eye for superlative and important examples by singular artists is a testament to the care that was given to establishing a true and illuminating dialogue between painting, sculpture and photography. This Private American Collection has, at its core, a deep and profound respect for the art and artists who have continued to push the boundaries of what culture is able to accomplish and affect in its production and appreciation. The collectors’ attention to the zeitgeist is indicative of the desire to support the artists working in their time. Such is the mentality of a true collector and connoisseur of the new.



Tonk #10-83

painted steel
7 1/2 x 7 x 4 1/4 in. (19.1 x 17.8 x 10.8 cm)
Signed "John Chamberlain" lower edge. This work has been recorded in the archives of the John Chamberlain studio.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $149,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Day Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Day Sale 15 May 2015 11am