Willem de Kooning and John Chamberlain: Influence and Transformation
PaceWildenstein is pleased to present Willem de Kooning and John Chamberlain: Influence and Transformation on view from September 22 through October 27, 2001 at Pace’s gallery located at 32 East 57th Street in New York City. In this historical exhibition, selected works by de Kooning and Chamberlain will highlight each artist’s meditation on the conditions of modernism and the central role of chance and fragmentation in their work. Despite differences in materials and discipline, both de Kooning’s paintings and Chamberlain’s sculptures explore the possible treatments of form and color, solid and transparent volume, and surface and depth as continually evolving and merging elements. In addition, both artists’ use of brushstroke will emphasize their shared belief in the importance of gesture to their work. A full color catalogue featuring an essay by art historian Bernice Rose will accompany the exhibition.
Willem de Kooning and John Chamberlain: Influence and Transformation will feature eight paintings and thirteen sculptures drawn from an international cross-section of public and private collections. Viewed in such close proximity, the essential physicality of both de Kooning’s painting and Chamberlain’s sculpture emerges, and the installation encourages an aesthetic conversation between both artists and their chosen mediums. Specifically, the influence of de Kooning’s approach to art making upon Chamberlain’s own oeuvre is underscored; Chamberlain articulates the accomplishments of Abstract Expressionism and the emotive power of de Kooning’s painting into three-dimensional form. In the exhibition’s catalogue Bernice Rose states: “Chamberlain’s is a radical step in this [modernism’s] history: the translation of de Kooning’s inherently sculptural
brushstroke from a soft material used for the creation of visual illusions and illusionary spaces into a hard, thin, and three-dimensional substance that could be considered as a support for those illusions.”
John Chamberlain (b. 1927: Rochester, IN) studied at The Art Institute of Chicago and Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, Chamberlain’s work has been the subject of major traveling exhibitions and retrospectives including ones at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1971, New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (1986, Los Angeles) and both the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (Germany) and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Germany) in 1991. Chamberlain’s work can be found in public and private collections both here and abroad.
Chamberlain has been twice awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and in 1990 was elected a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (New York). He received the 1993 Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Maine), and in the same year was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture from the International Sculpture Center (Washington, DC). In 1997 Chamberlain was named a recipient of The National Arts Club Artists Award (New York), and in 1999 he received the Distinction in Sculpture Honor from the Sculpture Center (New York).
Images of John Chamberlain’s work are available upon request.