Collector AdamLindemann ties to make sense of John Chamberlain’s art and stubborn market in the Observer:
I’ve often heard Mr. Chamberlain referred to as an “Abstract Expressionist” sculptor (think of Willem de Kooning or Franz Kline brush strokes, but done instead with slices of bent car doors and bumpers). But he came later, and I find him more masculine, raw and kind of raunchy. The concept of the car, and the car crash, is such an quintessentially American image that I can’t help but think of him as a Pop artist, or at least one who falls in between the Abstract Expressionist and Pop concepts; perhaps that’s why he’s never fit into the tidy little box that many collectors need. In an early interview, he refused to be categorized as the artist of the “car crash” and said that his contemporary Claes Oldenberg best understood his work when he said that his colleague made “hard things soft.”
Of course, every great artist is too clever to let himself be pigeonholed and categorized, but today, in the age of Richard Prince car hoods, the Bruce High Quality Foundation’s ambulance, Nate Lowman’s hubcaps or Dan Colen’s pile of Harley-Davidsons, there is no doubt that John Chamberlain’s work is a reference we will find over and over again. He is also an artist to be found in just about every museum in America. So, then, why did his career appear to go so cold for the past several years?