Tag Archives: John Chamberlain

December 11th Auction Preview Now OPEN

The preview for the December 11, 2011 Important Modern Art & Design auction has officially opened today!

Come to the LAMA Showroom to see over 500 lots of exceptional modern fine art and design, including works by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Dan Johnson, Charles & Ray Eames, Philip Johnson, Robert Graham, Timo Sarpaneva, Greene & Greene, Raymond Loewy, and John Chamberlain.

Preview Dates:
Thursday, December 1st – Saturday, December 10th
open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
16145 Hart Street Van Nuys, CA 91406

Auction Date:
Sunday, December 11, 2011; 12pm (PST)
16145 Hart Street Van Nuys, CA 91406

All lots are online here. 

For all bidding inquires, please call 323-904-1950 to speak with a LAMA representative directly.

John Chamberlain Sculpture from 1962

For over fifty years, John Chamberlain (b. 1927) has been constructing welded metal sculptures using crumpled and distorted automobile parts. In a recent New York Times interview, Chamberlain wished his claim to fame was having a drink with Billie Holiday, though it is his innovative, “articulate wadding” that has earned him international acclaim. After studying sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago and Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina in the 1950s, he began working primarily with car parts. He recalls, “It was like, God, I finally found an art supply, and it was so cheap it just made you laugh.”  In 1961, the same year he was invited to participate in the São Paulo Biennale, his sculpture was included in an important survey exhibition, The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The influential Leo Castelli Gallery in New York began showing Chamberlain’s work in 1959, and Chamberlain had a solo show there in January of 1962.

As he continued to construct the large-scale automobile sculptures that became his trademark, Chamberlain experimented with some of the same materials in smaller, mixed media relief sculptures. Untitled (1962) is a complex tangle of rusted metal scraps exploding from a canvas of stapled brown paper. Its willful disorder evokes Chamberlain’s early experimentation with poetry at Black Mountain College, where he explored the visual combination and structure of the words on the paper, and is characteristic of his continually evolving engagement with the process of assemblage.

Chamberlain was honored with major retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1971, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 1986, and the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Germany in 1991. Now 84, he is still creating massive, mangled sculptures at his Shelter Island, New York studio with the help of Belgian fabricators. A career-spanning exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is slated for 2012. Chamberlain is currently represented by Gagosian.

– Paul Des Marais, Contributing Writer

Lot Information:

Lot 194
John Chamberlain
Mixed media relief on panel
Signed and dated lower right;
Leo Castelli, New York label verso.
Relief: 12” x 12” x 5”;
With mount: 17” x 17” x 7.25”
Provenance: Leo Castelli , New York;
Betty Asher, Los Angeles (acquired from Castelli in 1962); Private Collection, Los Angeles (acquired from Asher c 1970).
December 11, 2011 Important Modern Art & Design Auction
Estimate $150,000-200,000


Cohen, David. “The Probity of Modernism: Collages by John Chamberlain and Alfred Leslie.” Artcritical.com. Art Critical, 12 Nov. 2010. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.

“John Chamberlain.” Guggenheim Museum. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2011. Web. 30 Sept. 2011.

Kennedy, Randy. “A Crusher of Cars, a Molder of Metal.” Nytimes.com. New York Times, 8 May 2011. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.

Save the Date for LAMA’s Best Sale Yet

Save the date for the
December 11, 2011 
Important Modern Art & Design Auction,
LAMA’s most impressive sale
since opening in 1992.

Highlights include:

a 1906 Greene & Greene linen cabinet from the Dr. W. T. Bolton House #3

one of two unique George Nelson Marshmallow sofas

John Chamberlain mixed media relief sculpture from 1962

Diamond dust Shoes by Andy Warhol

one of only a handful of Isamu Noguchi Chess tables known to survive


Andy Warhol
Screenprint with diamond dust
From edition of 60
40.25″ x 59.5″
Signed with edition verso
Estimate $70,000 – 90,000