John Chamberlain: A RetrospectiveExhibition (1971), Introduction and Conversation
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"John Chamberlain (1971), Introduction and Conversation"

From John Chamberlain: A Retrospective Exhibition
Diane Waldman
Published in 2012
25 pages, fully illustrated

Originally published within Diane Waldman's 1971 exhibition catalogue, John Chamberlain: A Retrospective Exhibition, which was published on the occasion of artist John Chamberlain's first museum retrospective, this excerpt highlights Waldman's introduction to the catalogue and a conversation between Chamberlain, Waldman, artist Donald Judd, and former editor of Art in America Elizabeth C. Baker. Also included is an installation photograph of Chamberlain's innovative show at the Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles (1966), as well as the exhibition checklist.


His forms, though bruised by both industrial manufacture and the artist's hand, appear as uncanny evocations of human form. Bawdy figures, Chamberlain's forms are at once cheap and commonplace and noble and magnificent. Above all, his work speaks of a humanity which is all the more amazing considering its origins. The cold, impersonal mass-produced perfection which Pop later capitalized on, is in Chamberlain's work translated into its very opposite—pieces of machinery become tenuous, imperfect, and supremely humanized.

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