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John Angus Chamberlain

(1927-2011)

Aliases: John A. Chamberlain, John A. Chamberlain, John (1928) Chamberlain

Sculptor, Photographer, Painter

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Biography

(b Rochester, Indiana, 1927) American sculptor. Chamberlain is known for his sculptures of crushed materials and pieces of metal and steel found in junkyards; typically employing automobile lacquer, foam, rubber, paper, Plexiglas and bright hues of industrial paint. His pieces are often constructed in a way that suggests halted movement. From 1943 to 1946 Chamberlain served in the Navy before attending the Art Institute of Chicago in 1951. Influenced by David Smith, he began working in metals. In 1955 he attended and taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina until 1956. His work evolved from constructing flat, metal sculptures in the early 1950s, to using metal automobile scraps and crushed parts almost exclusively from 1959 on. Successful in the 1960s, Chamberlain exhibited his sculptures widely, including: The Art of Assemblage exhibition at MOMA in New York; the Sa Paulo Bienal; and the Venice Biennale. In addition to sculpture, Chamberlain has also experimented with painting, creating geometric works from sprayed automobile paint, and panoramic photography. He has received two John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships, as well as the International Sculpture Center’s Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture and Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture.

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