John Chamberlain – Curvatureromance / Exhibition at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich

Die Neue Sammlung – Pinakothek der Moderne, München

John Chamberlain – Curvatureromance
08.07. – 23.10.2011

CURVATUREROMANCE is the first museum presentation of the large-format metal sculptures completed during the last four years by the American artist John Chamberlain (*1927). The show also marks the start of the AMERICAN SUMMER program in the Pinakothek der Moderne.

John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain
© John Chamberlain / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

As early as the late-1950s Chamberlain created a sculpture for the first time that made use of colored steel parts from a car that was in the backyard of his friend Larry Rivers. He thereby found his Carrara – a working material that was to become as natural for Chamberlain, as marble was for sculptors of the Renaissance. Hammer and chisel were replaced by a scrap metal press which the artist uses – still, to this day – to compress and stretch, fold and bend his material, assembling the individual parts piece by piece, in a process of adding-on and taking-away again, until “it fits” (JC). Chamberlain thus transforms industrial material and design into a radical creative language. In so doing, his sculptures represent a formal contrast to the restrained and geometrically articulated Minimal Art of the same period, the serialized and systematic approach of which can be seen parallel to this in major works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Fred Sandback in the Pinakothek’s permanent collection.

Chamberlain’s sculptural work, however, can be seen in a much wider historical context. His compression of metal parts creates folds, which interact with the dynamic lines in the sculpture as a whole. The psychological charging of sculptures in such a way allows comparisons to be drawn, in particular, with the folds in material found in earlier works in the history of art. The parallels described in the catalog essay between Chamberlain’s works and selected, examplary sculptures ranging from the Middle Ages and the Baroque up to one of Auguste Rodin’s major works, show how the artist’s work represents a logical continuation and renewal of a central line of development in western art.

John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain
© John Chamberlain / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain
© John Chamberlain / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

In the twelve sculptures especially chosen for the Munich exhibition, some of which rise to a towering five meters, Chamberlain has successfully taken a further step in perfecting the expressiveness of his sculptural oeuvre, while continuing to increase their density and presence. In his almost unprecedented creative output and with a lightness that appears unforced, Chamberlain enters into an open dialogue with the recalcitrant material and, for that very reason, is able to provide it with a suggestive liveliness. In the process, his impulse to work from intuitive and improvised compositional moments is combined with the inclination to not be fully in command of material and form: “The resistance of that metal, the molecular structure, has a great deal of compatibility with people,” the artist once said in an interview. CURVATUREROMANCE, the exhibition title coined by Chamberlain himself, evokes the association of pulsating bodies. The sculptures have become charismatic dancers: erotic, powerful, fearless, very comical – monstrous and with the wisdom that comes with age.

John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain
© John Chamberlain / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

An exhibition catalog with numerous illustrations and a text by Corinna Thierolf, Chief- Curator in the Sammlung Moderne Kunst, Pinakothek der Moderne, will be published.

Exhibition calendar

John Chamberlain
Sammlung Moderne Kunst Pinakothek der Moderne

Donald Judd. Agood chair is a good chair
Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum Munich
Pinakothek der Moderne

Line and Space. American drawings and sculpture since 1960 from a private collection
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München
Pinakothek der Moderne

Talks in the Ernst von Siemens-Auditorium in the Pinakothek der Moderne | Admission 3 Euro

TUE 20.09. | 7.00 pm Marianne Stockebrand: “The complete Judd: His writings, art, architecture, furniture and museum”

THU 22.09. | 7.00 pm Joachim Kaak: “The First Americans…“

TUE 27.09. | 7.00 pm Laszlo Glozer: “The early years. Reception of an aesthetic turning point in Munich“
THU 29.09. | 7.00 pm Konstantin Grcic: “minimal/maximal“

THU 20.10. | 7.00 pm Corinna Thierolf talks with Heiner Friedrich, founder of the the DASMAXIMUM Foundation

Courtesy Pinakothek der Moderne München
Images © John Chamberlain


Stampfli & Turci – Art Dealers

Disclaimer & Copyright


~ by Stampfli & Turci on July 10, 2011.

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