Past exhibition

John Chamberlain

Without Fear
20 April–21 May 2005

Waddington Galleries is pleased to present an exhibition of sculptures by John Chamberlain. The exhibition of twelve painted and chromium plated steel sculptures dating from 1988 to 2003 offers an overview of Chamberlain’s artistic development over the last two decades.

In search of the right fit, Chamberlain interlocks literally and organically steel bands which have been cut, folded, crushed, twisted and rolled. Chamberlain nearly always uses similar materials and techniques and yet each painterly sculpture has its own character especially in his experiments with surface and colour. By spraying, stencilling, dribbling, graffitiing, and airbrushing layers of brilliant hues, multi-coloured rectangular daubs and animal prints onto the steel, Chamberlain creates jazzy, tropical, and even raucous effects.

The opposing inherent qualities of Chamberlain’s sculpture can be seen in a work such as ‘The Big One’ (1994). It appears dynamic, playful, airy and fragile from one angle, but massive, static, serious and robust from another. Klaus Kertess describes the sculptures as engaged in intimate play by his (Chamberlain’s) hands in a kind of trial and error mating dance, continuing until two shapes are compatibly joined and then another is coaxed to participate and then another [in] a kind of agitated visual orgy. Seldom has sculpture so physically embodied the free associativeness and combinative play so crucial to creative thinking visually and verbally.

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