At Guggenheim-Dia John Chamberlain Memorial, Friends Recall Sailing, Wrestling, Studio Visits

“Finding out that he wanted his show in my building was very special information for me—it brings tears to my eyes,” Frank Gehry said in a video played in the Guggenheim’s basement theater last night. He was talking about John Chamberlin, whose retrospective is on view in the museum above. It will travel to Mr. Gehry’s Bilbao branch later this year. The architect welled up as he spoke. “I knew he liked me and stuff, but that’s a big, mother compliment for me, so thank you, John.”

The memorial was organized by the Guggenheim and the Dia Art Foundation to pay tribute to Chamberlain, the hard-charging sculptor of shredded and contorted automobile metal who died in December at the age of 84. The crowd included the directors of the Guggenheim and Dia, Richard Armstrong and Philippe Vergne, Chamberlain’s last dealer, Larry Gagosian, as well as artist Frank Stella, dealer Tony Shafrazi, patron Christophe de Menil and members of his family. Read More


  1. [...] Luminaries Remember John Chamberlain — Andrew Russeth has a terrific, wonderfully written report on the late Ab Ex sculptor’s memorial, which included heartfelt reminiscences from Frank Gehry, Whitney chief curator Donna De Salvo, and Dia cofounder Heiner Friedrich, among others. (Gallerist NY) [...]

  2. [...] of the material, the unrefined sharp edges and chipped paint, most of his work exudes playfulness. GalleristNY does a great write up on John Chamberlain and the retrospective that turned memorial when he [...]

  3. [...] In Gallerist NY, Andrew Russeth recounts the Guggenheim’s John Chamberlain memorial service. [...]