Born in Indiana in 1927, John Chamberlain studied and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and Black Mountain College. He had already made a name for himself on the American sculpture scene when he went to work with Kenneth Tyler at Gemini GEL in 1971: his work had been included in the Museum of Modern Art’s The art of assemblage exhibition and he had represented the United States at both the Sao Paolo and Venice Biennales. At Gemini GEL Chamberlain created the multiple Le molé (The molecule).

The structure of the small sculpture was based on a crumpled paper shopping bag that the artist coated in polyester resin and then cast in the same material. The edition was then aluminium plated and covered in a silicon oxide. The resultant sheen recalls Chamberlain´┐Żs assemblages made using scrap metal from cars.
Emilie Owens

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Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017