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  • Provenance


    Richard Librizzi, New York; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., New York; Private collection, Austria

  • Exhibited


    Norfolk, The Chrysler Museum, Three Hundred Years of American Art in the Chrysler Museum, March 1 – July 4, 1976; Norfalk, The Chrysler Museum, Large or Small, Bronze or Wood, Painted or Plain: Problems and Solutions in Sculpture, July 9 – September 13, 1981

  • Literature


    The Chrysler Museum, ed., Three Hundred Years of American Art in the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, 1976, p. 235 (illustrated); The Chrysler Museum, ed., Large or Small, Bronze or Wood, Painted or Plain: Problems and Solutions in Sculpture, Norfolk, 1981, p. 21 (illustrated); J. Sylvester, John Chamberlain: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculpture 1954 – 1985, Los Angeles, 1986, p. 128, cat. no. 453 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay


    John Chamberlin’s strongly gestural sculptures made from derelict car parts and crushed steel redefined sculpture in twentieth century America, applying the formal principles of Abstract Expressionism to the three dimensions. Born in the small town of Rochester, Indiana, Chamberlain served in the Navy and trained as a hairstylist and makeup artist before applying and being accepted to the Art Institute of Chicago. At the Art Institute, Chamberlain began to explore many of the aesthetic ideas which would later permeate his oeuvre but it was his time teaching and studying at the Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina, where Chamberlain truly evolved as an artist.Working with poets like Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan and Charles Olson at Black Mountain, the artist, who at this point was still experimenting in two-dimensions, found his sculptural beginnings in the unlikely medium of words and poems. Chamberlain was often drawn to the way two words looked when placed next to one another on a page, in spite of their corresponding meanings. It was in this juxtaposition that led Chamberlain to the medium of collage and to Shortstop in 1957, his first steel sculpture made from auto parts. This groundbreaking work was made when Chamberlain ran out of iron rod and used parts of friend Larry Rivers’ antique car while staying with him in at his country house.The parts, which were from a 1929 Ford included a fender which Chamberlain proceeded to drive over a few times with his truck before incorporating the piece into a finished work.The transformation and appropriation of car parts and industrial steel seen in Shortstop would go on to define his career.

39

Untitled

1973
Aluminum foil with acrylic lacquer and polyester resin.
43 x 71 x 68 in. (109 x 180.5 x 172.5 cm).

Estimate
$500,000 - 700,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

13 Nov 2008, 7pm
New York