Rounding out its 25th anniversary year, the Menil Collection looks back on its 1987 inaugural exhibition of John Chamberlain sculptures by presenting a special selection of works by the same artist. The sculptures are on view in the museum’s main foyer through January 13, 2013.
Renowned for fashioning dramatic, colorful and evocative sculptures from crushed and twisted auto scrap metal, John Chamberlain (1927-2011) is represented in depth at the Menil, which holds 12 of his sculptures and 14 works on paper. On view in this anniversary installation are four major sculptures of painted steel: Nanoweap (1969), Clytie II (Only Women Bleed…for Alice) (1976), Elixir (1983), and the monumental American Tableau (1984), which measures 12 feet in height and 21 feet in length. All Chamberlain sculptures in the Menil Collection have recently been carefully studied and restored to pristine condition through a generous grant from Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project (announced by the Menil in March of this year: http://goo.gl/6E24G).
Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, stated, “We wanted to conclude this anniversary year by offering the public something extraordinary, and realized that this installation of Chamberlain’s sculptures would be the ideal opportunity. It is rare to be able to experience an entire group of these large-scale works, and even more unusual to see them looking so fresh. We’re very pleased to reaffirm our commitment to this artist, and to revisit the beginnings of the Menil, by presenting these works.”