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The Coloured Gates of Louisville


John Chamberlain, (Born 1927, American)

Painted automotive steel over chrome (18’ x 33’9” x 2’6”) 
Gift of The Mary and Barry Bingham, Sr., Fund, The Humana Foundation, Eleanor and Rowland Miller, An Anonymous Donor 

In The Coloured Gates of Louisville, artist John Chamberlain compressed, compacted and rolled car bodies, which are arranged to create shifting configurations that vary from near flatness to billowing volumes. He composed the sculpture on the floor of his Florida studio, first laying down a base of chrome which reflects and enlivens the sheets in front. The evolution of the sculpture came as forms were added over the chrome. Finally the sculpture was welded together. The ten units of The Coloured Gates of Louisville are positioned diagonally on the wall, creating a lunging dance. The buoyant visual energy of the composition belies the rawness and weight of Chamberlain’s materials. Chamberlain believes that the knowledge art reveals is non-verbal and intuitive: “An artist makes a spiritual evaluation of the essence within a thing and then he gets it out; that is the outer appearance of the inner essence, and it is the point.”

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