NEWS
22/12/2011 10:58 GMT

John Chamberlain Dead: Scrap Metal Artist John Chamberlain Dies

John Chamberlain, the artist who created powerful and sometimes beautiful sculptures from crushed metal and painted car parts, has died aged 84.

His death was announced in New York by his wife Prudence Fairweather who declined to give a cause.

The news comes two months before a retrospective of his work which will run in New York from February, raising questions over what implications his death will have for the exhibition.

Chamberlain served in the navy during World War II before attending the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 50s. His early sculptures were influenced by Abstract Expressionism and were exhibited widely in New York, where he became a maverick figure within the emerging Pop Art movement.

Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s Chamberlain’s work with crushed steel, melted Plexiglas and tied urethane foam was shown around the world, including at the São Paulo Art Biennial (1961, 1994), the Venice Biennale (1964) and Documenta in Germany (1982).

In the mid-1990s he began experimenting with large format photography, and in 1993 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture by the International Sculpture Center in Washington, D.C.

His career spanned over 100 different exhibitions, traveling solo shows and retrospectives.

The New York Times described Chamberlain as a man who "devoted his life to challenging traditional notions of sculpture and to eroding the boundaries between sculpture and painting."