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Hauser & Wirth announces worldwide representation of the John Chamberlain Estate
John Chamberlain, Simplysplendid, 1986. Painted and stainless steel, 31.1 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm / 12 1/4 x 18 x 10 in. © 2019 Fairweather & Fairweather LTD / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy the John Chamberlain Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marc Payot, Partner and Vice President, Hauser & Wirth, today announced that the gallery will henceforth represent the John Chamberlain Estate exclusively worldwide.

Born in Rochester, Indiana, and raised primarily in Chicago, John Chamberlain (1927 – 2011) was a quintessentially American artist, channeling the innovative power of the postwar years into a relentlessly inventive practice spanning six decades. He first achieved renown for sculptures made in the late 1950s through 1960s from automobile parts – these were path-breaking works that effectively transformed the gestural energy of Abstract Expressionist painting into three dimensions. Ranging in scale from miniature to monumental, Chamberlain’s compositions of twisted, crushed, and forged metal also bridged the divide between Process Art and Minimalism, drawing tenets of both into a new kinship. These singular works established him as one of the first American artists to determine color as a natural component of abstract sculpture. From the late 1960s until the end of his life, Chamberlain harnessed the expressive potential of an astonishing array of materials, which varied from Plexiglas, resin, and paint, to foam, aluminum foil, and paper bags.

While Chamberlain is often closely associated with the trajectory of Abstract Expressionism, his practice also harnessed the principles of Pop Art and Minimalism. His work also paid homage to the legacy of Marcel Duchamp in its emphasis upon the selection and modification of chosen objects and materials. Chamberlain cited the New York School painters and their contemporaries – particularly Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning – as predominant influences. Chamberlain expressed deep admiration for the work of David Smith, whose estate is also represented by Hauser & Wirth.

In its collaboration with the John Chamberlain Estate, Hauser & Wirth will work closely with the late artist’s wife Prudence Fairweather and her daughter Alexandra Fairweather. Two major initiatives will be to organize and bring to light unseen archival material from the artist’s studio on Shelter Island, New York, and advance the Catalogue Raisonné project, which currently ends in 1985.

Hauser & Wirth’s first collaboration with the Chamberlain Estate will be the unveiling of three never-before exhibited sculptures at Art Basel in June 2019. The selection includes the cosmic sculpture ‘COMEOVER’ (2007) from the Wheels series. In the fall, Hauser & Wirth will curate an exhibition of Chamberlain’s small- scale, jewel-like sculptures at its gallery space on New York’s 69th Street. A major Chamberlain exhibition is currently in development for New York in 2020.

Marc Payot says: ‘It is with great delight that we announce our worldwide representation of the John Chamberlain Estate. Chamberlain was a pioneer in re-conceptualizing the sculptural form to take on the language of abstraction while conveying with great potency the specific mood and sensibility of the times. To us, his work has never been more relevant. There is an entire alphabet of experimentation and playfulness across Chamberlain’s many bodies of work, and we are excited to explore the stories embedded within them through exhibitions, research, and publishing projects. Chamberlain joins a strong tradition of sculpture in our program, which spans his avant-garde predecessors, Hans Arp and Eduardo Chillida, through those international contemporary sculptors who have followed in his wake, such as Phyllida Barlow and Monika Sosnowska. We’re particularly looking forward to sharing Chamberlain’s work with new audiences and generations internationally and in the U.S., and to examining the connections between Chamberlain’s innovations and those of other great American powerhouses in our program, from the historical titans David Smith, Philip Guston, Jack Whitten, and Arshile Gorky, to Chamberlain’s great friend, Larry Bell, and the defining contemporary American artists who are part of the continuum.’

Prudence Fairweather says: ‘It is with tremendous excitement that the John Chamberlain Estate begins a new chapter with Hauser & Wirth. Through this partnership, we look forward to furthering the scholarship dedicated to his practice and exploring ways in which it can be accessed by future generations. In this collaboration with Hauser & Wirth and its remarkable team, we look forward to sharing Chamberlain’s many untold stories through new projects.’

The subject of many major museum exhibitions, with works residing in dozens of prominent museum collections, Chamberlain was among the artists who represented the United States in the American Pavilion at the 32nd International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

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