Skip to Content

The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

John Chamberlain: The Tighter They Are Wound, the Harder They Unravel

John Chamberlain, White Thumb, 1960-61.

637 E Hyman Ave CO, Aspen, CO 81611, United States

Through six decades John Chamberlain (1927–2011) roved the United States, creating a vast and varied wealth of work. He made monumental sculptures from crushed car parts, and small, elegant pieces from foam, foil, resin, and paper. His visual signature was distinctly his own. “The only reason Chamberlain is not the best American sculptor under forty,” Donald Judd wrote in 1962, “is the incommensurability of ‘the best’ which makes it arbitrary to say so.” In the first institutional survey on Chamberlain in over a decade, three floors of the Aspen Art Museum celebrate a pioneering artist. —Elena Clavarino

Photo: Leo Castelli, photography © Charles Rotmil