New York

John Chamberlain

Dia Center for the Arts

This show of 15 sculptures, 1991-92, would probably surprise even a die-hard John Chamberlain fan: the pieces look like scaled-down versions of themselves. Ranging from 7 to 90 inches in height, but mostly averaging between 7 and 12 they’re remarkably attractive little objects that would not look out of place in an upscale gift shop. The first of these sculptures was created—at the suggestion of Chamberlain’s old friend Henry Geldzahler—to decorate a box of chocolate truffles.

There’s nothing not to like in this show. In the past decade, Chamberlain’s work has evolved from something self-consciously violent and raw—the earlier pieces are marked by broken edges, ruptured and torn metal beginning to rust—to something unapologetically gorgeous and tame. The latest work is, if anything, much more allusive and visually subtle, and the fascination with material (luscious enamel

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