Whitmore Wash, 1969
Painted and Chromium steel
52 x 49 x 40 inches
Collection of Gordon Locksley and George T. Shea
In making his metal sculptures of the 1960s, John Chamberlain was chiefly interested in transforming a known commodity into a completely new form. His favorite material during these years was scrap metal—often automobile parts and old appliances—which he crushed, welded, and twisted into abstract arrangements that conceal the object's original function. Like the Abstract Expressionist painters with whom he is often grouped, Chamberlain worked intuitively, manipulating his material without knowing how the final form would take shape. Whitmore Wash is constructed partly from pieces of a discarded washing machine; its punning title refers to a spot on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.