John Angus Chamberlain


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Artist John Angus Chamberlain’s Status, Estimate and Price

Price of a painting: 4,200 – 158,000 €.

Price of a sculpture: 2,200 – 3,900,000 €.

Estimate of a drawing: 510 – 60,800 €.

Estimation of a print: 650 – 14,600 €.

Price of a photograph: 1,600 – 2,200 €.

If you would like to have a work by John Angus Chamberlain appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Between pop art and abstract expressionism

John Angus Chamberlain was born in April 1927 in Indiana, America. The work of this American painter is distinguished by the use of pieces of scrap metal from automobiles that were crushed and then welded together. His artistic practice is close to that of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, depending on how it is interpreted.

Chamberlain grew up in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Navy for three years, from 1943 to 1946, and a few years later enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is influenced by the artist David Smith, an American sculptor belonging to the Abstract Expressionist movement who also uses tubular and/or welded metal pieces. He then studied and taught at the famous Black Mountain College and befriended poets Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan, among others. Chamberlain moved to New York City in 1956 and created Shortstop, the first sculpture to include scrap metal from an automobile. He made it the main feature of his works from 1959 onwards. Most of his works were intended to be hung on the wall.

Prestigious exhibitions

The first of his important exhibitions took place in 1960 in New York at the Martha Jackson Gallery. It was at the beginning of this decade that his work gained notoriety and was cited in the exhibition Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art in 1961, during which time he also participated in the Sao Paulo Biennial. He was also often exhibited in the important Leo Castelli Gallery in New York and again took part in a biennial, the Venice Biennale in 1964.

Coherence of the work and renewal

Always in connection with the automotive industry, Chamberlain is experimenting with new materials. He produced aerosol paints for the bodywork from 1963 to 1965. The following year, he made sculptures in urethane foam. This was followed by works in crushed, melted metal and sometimes even melted Plexiglas. He returned to his car sculptures in the 1970s. In 1972 and again in 1975, he created the Texas Pieces, ten works created and named after Texan city names. Eight of these pieces are today at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. He first became interested in the photographic medium in 1977.

As a result of his work, Chamberlain received several prestigious awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary sculpture Center and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 1993, and the Distiction in Sculpture Honour in 1999.

Chamberlain passed away in 2011.

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