This September, Hauser & Wirth hosts an exhibition of work by John Chamberlain across an entire floor of its uptown gallery, featuring a selection of small-scale sculptures from the artist’s Baby Tycoons series.
Baby Tycoons is one of several series of miniature works that punctuates the grandeur and formalism of Chamberlain’s larger sculptural pursuits. Alongside earlier small-scale series, Baby Tycoons articulates the instinctually playful spirit with which Chamberlain approached material and process at every scale. Masterfully manipulated from automobile scrap-metals, Baby Tycoons possesses all the complexity and power of its larger counterparts. As Chamberlain himself remarks, ‘if the scale is dealt with then the size has nothing to do with it.’
In 1988—intrigued by the challenge of creating a truffle box for a friend—Chamberlain fashioned what would become the first work in the Baby Tycoons series from a rosette-like piece of scrap metal and a cigar humidor. This initial effort led to a remarkable series of sculptures made from the bountiful scrap material that he collected in his studio. Chamberlain continued to make these gem-like miniatures throughout his lifetime. The Baby Tycoons have not been the subject of an exhibition in over fifteen years.
In advance of Hauser & Wirth’s major New York exhibition in 2020 dedicated to Chamberlain’s prolific oeuvre, this intimate presentation of Baby Tycoons will feature works from the Estate’s collection as well as loans from important private collections. This will mark Hauser & Wirth’s first New York presentation of the artist’s work since announcing the exclusive worldwide representation of the John Chamberlain Estate in May 2019.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)