John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain
American 1927–2011
Untitled, 1992
Mailbox, paint
26 3/4 H. x 12 1/4 W. x 12 1/4 D. inches

Artist Description

Born in a small town in Indiana in 1927, John Chamberlain became one of the most celebrated abstract expressionist sculptors of the 20th century. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and later studied at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina. He led a nomadic lifestyle, residing and working in cities across America from Sarasota to Santa Fe, even spending some time in Belgium.

Chamberlain worked with a vast array of media throughout his career, experimenting with unconventional materials like aluminum foil, cardboard, urethane foam, and his signature substance: recycled automobile parts. There were periods of time when he did not utilize any metals within his work at all, committing to push himself out of the realm of expectation. A common theme throughout Chamberlain’s works is the fascination with “fit” – he believed that as long as scale was proportional, size was irrelevant; he often collected objects that would be compared and then morphed together if the fit was correct.

Graham Shay 1857 is committed to making its website accessible to all people, including individuals with disabilities. We are in the process of making sure our website,, complies with best practices and standards as defined by Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and Level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user-friendly for all people. If you would like additional assistance or have accessibility concerns, please contact us at 212 535 5767 or