DAVID COHEN, Editor
The show at Pace / Wildenstein of new sculptures by John Chamberlain features ribbons of cast and cut sheet metal which were assembled and manipulated in the studio. The mature work is a direct and long gestated outgrowth of the phenomenal classics of crushed auto parts from the wrecking yard which were his oeuvre.
The work here takes on a festive look, even erotic. Its free flowing movement sets it apart from Frank Stella's candy coated cut aluminum sculptures of the '80's. A postmodern cool characterizes the articulated surfaces and repetitive elements of the Chamberlain work. It is not self-referential and is devoid of cryptic, lofty, or exclusive significance. A nurturing generosity seems effortlessly wrenched from the unforgiving material. Though the larger than life monumental figures reach over nine feet in height, their presence is magnanimous rather than confrontational.
Shredded robotic or creeping crustacean assemblages stand at about four feet and are also commanding but benign. These mid-sized works look ready to tumble like ball moss with their airy composition, if not for the extended feet that ground them.
There are smaller
wall pieces that appear to be in flight. They feature a sensuality that
additionally connects this work to the wall sculptures of Linda Benglis.
These are confident gestures about a somewhat fragile environment. In
that the work evokes a conflation of images, it remains arguably non-objective;
identification in that camp still helps to describe the work.
and works on Shelter Island surrounded by Gardiners Bay. A sense of place
makes its way into the work. Not only his marine retreat, but the familiar
and generic neighborhood carwash leaves its mark. The tones and light
weight of sequins fluttering in the urban breeze, look fresh on these
gallery walls. Alternately, it is a forest of crossover species resembling
both flora and fauna. We are walking on the sea floor, perusing in a showroom
of enormous striated trees, or stands of rushes-without the smell of brine