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A work made of urethane foam and cord.
© 2018 Fairweather / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of urethane foam and cord.




John Chamberlain
American, 1927–2011

About this artwork

Though he worked in a variety of media, John Chamberlain is best known for abstract sculptures and installations of painted, compressed automotive parts, which he began in the 1950s. Frustrated with misinterpretations of his work as depictions of car wrecks or evocations of violence, Chamberlain departed from his signature motif in 1966. From this point until 1973, he fabricated sculptures almost exclusively from urethane foam. Chamberlain incorporated his distinct style of crushing and wadding as he tied pieces of the foam together with string or cords. Untitled is one of Chamberlain’s early, midsized foam works. Tucked and pulled in all directions, the cut urethane foam is shaped by seemingly invisible cords as it overflows and extends upward and outward. With various curves and bulges, these evocative sculptures are about the material characteristics of foam rubber and what can be done to it: squeezing, cutting, and binding.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


John Angus Chamberlain




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Urethane foam and cord


73.7 × 101.6 × 66 cm (29 × 40 × 26 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow

Reference Number



© 2018 Fairweather / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

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