A Look at John Chamberlain’s Lacquer Paintings
It's All in the Fit: The Work of John Chamberlain (Marfa, Tex.: Chinati Foundation, 2009), pp. 85-118
36 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2020
Date Written: October 1, 2009
Knowledge founded on perception always stays flexible. Imposed intellectual interpretations remain rigid, eliminating discrepancies if sensations vary from that which is expected. When viewing art, as with everyday existence in the world, a willingness to just perceive means learning, again and again, what one did not know before, even though things seem perplexing at first. John Chamberlain recognized this potential, claiming that “a work of art can give you a lot [of] things you don’t need. But you can also savor it and keep it in reserve because tomorrow you may need it.' Discovery begins with an intuitive insight but it takes careful looking and thinking to gauge new information’s similarity, difference, or distinction of degree from current understanding. As intellect admits exceptions, one adjusts trusted generalizations and, in so doing, learns. To learn one must discover and to discover one must perceive.
Keywords: John Chamberlain, Donald Judd, Adrian Kohn, Willem de Kooning
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