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John Chamberlain (1927-2011)

chamberlain-bldg
The Chamberlain Building, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX. Photographed the morning after John Chamberlain's death on December 21, 2001 (KRTS photo).

Artist John Chamberlain died on Wednesday, December 21, at the age of 84.

The influential sculptor made an indelible mark on Marfa, Texas. Mr. Chamberlain had a friendship with artist Donald Judd, who helped him to install in Marfa 22 of his mangled steel sculptures, adapted from crushed car parts.

The installation, featuring works from the early 1970s, is now a permanent part of the Chinati Foundation. The artwork is housed in the Chamberlain Building, which is open for tours, and is located across from the Marfa Post Office, on Highland Avenue.

On December 22, the morning after Chamberlain died, KRTS spoke with the former Director of the Chinati Foundation, Marianne Stockebrand. A portion of that interview will be broadcast as part of a KRTS News Report. You can hear the entire conversation, via podcast, by clicking on the post title above.

Here is the newscast. john_chamberlain

KRTS also got in touch with current Director of the Chinati Foundation, Thomas Kellein, who was in Germany when he heard the news. Kellein had visited with John Chamberlain and his wife Prudence Fairweather in April at one of Chamberlain's favorite New York restaurants. Kellein commented:

We had a wonderful talk, he was happy, active, full of joy but also already very weak.


We are all very sad. Chamberlain is not just one of the major Chinati artists. He is a continent on the Chinati Planet. For me, his work is still to be discovered on earth, although he found many more friends during the last years.

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Former KRTS/KXWT News Director