John Chamberlain 1927-2011: Artist dies two months before retrospective

American sculptor John Chamberlain has died aged 84.

The artist was known for his crumpled metal sculptures – a kind of 3D abstract expressionism that tempts me to say ‘mangled’ metal but that’s too negative for what Chamberlain produced which, at its best, is beautiful and finely balanced work. My personal affinity is for the smaller irridescent pieces such as the one above.

The Guggenheim are actually having a retrospective of Chamberlain’s work in 2012 called ‘Choices’ and I’m now wondering what impact this sad news will have on the show.

John Chamberlain’s tireless pursuit of discovery and his intuitive process distinguish him as one of the most important American sculptors of our time.John Chamberlain: Choices comprises nearly 100 works, from his earliest monochromatic welded iron-rod sculptures to the large-scale foil creations of recent years. This presentation encompasses Chamberlain’s shifts in scale, materials, and methods, informed by the assemblage aesthetic that has been central to his artistic practice.