previews

John Chamberlain, Hano, 1970, mineral-coated polymer resin, 30 x 37 x 34".

New York

“John Chamberlain: Choices”

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
1071 Fifth Avenue
February 24–May 13, 2012

Curated by Susan Davidson

Too sweet for Minimalism, too hard for Pop, John Chamberlain’s assemblages still give pause. That caesura is his signature: He forced the dream of aerodynamic speed into confrontation with gravity––and with the massive industrial edifice that was and is our world’s vast trammel. Torquing the car part into dense, anticompositional crushes and folds, Chamberlain overturned the two-dimensional “drawing in space” of David Smith’s welded sculpture and offered instead a resolute engagement with substance, whereby the promise of virtuality and mobility is always freighted with matter, the fast sheen of metal-flake lacquer and clear topcoat always slowed into a viscous solid. This retrospective of approximately one hundred works, updating the artist’s major Guggenheim survey of 1971, will make us look longer still at Chamberlain’s extraordinary experiments with visual incident in his enamel automobile-finish pictures, his knots and planes in urethane foam or vacuum-coated Plexi, and his recent large-scale works in foil.

Travels to the Guggenheim Bilbao, Mar.–Sept. 2013.