San Francisco

John Chamberlain

Dilexi Gallery

The blurring of the distinction between painting and sculpture is now almost so commonplace that it has become an accepted phenomenon. The Museum of Modern Art Assemblage exhibition, recently shown in San Francisco, was an attempt to define and categorize this particular trend, but as Irving Sandler once wrote “any attempt to define a style must fall short in describing the uniqueness of its most interesting artists.” Chamberlain, who was shown in this exhibition, certainly possesses this uncategorizable uniqueness.

The miracle of Chamberlain’s art is that these pieces of scarred and worn skins of automobiles—fenders, doors, chrome bumpers and sections from torn chassis, should be so elegant. His vision is so fresh that one is completely taken by surprise on seeing a large group of his works.

On first consideration the impact of Chamberlain’s material is overwhelming. The crumpled, bent and

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