Wynn Chamberlain

born Minneapolis, MN 1927-died New Delhi, India 2014
Also known as
  • Elwyn Chamberlain
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
New Delhi, India
  • American

Wynn Chamberlain received an M.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1950 and had his first solo exhibition in Milwaukee the following year. Over the next ten years, Chamberlain painted highly detailed landscapes and interior scenes, as well as allegories based on the compositional formats of northern Renaissance painting. The allegories are modern statements on such portentous themes as the aftermath of war, while the landscapes and interiors, which frequently show isolated figures, deal with the human condition in more personal terms. In the 1960s Chamberlain turned from representational subjects to symbolic, gestural abstractions.

Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)

Luce Artist Biography

Wynn Chamberlain studied art at the University of Wisconsin and created magical images that depicted people in unusual or even sinister landscapes. He once caused a stir by exhibiting a group of paintings showing his friends completely in the nude. Chamberlain was also a director and worked on underground movies such as Paradise Now and Brand X. He was friends with the artist Jackson Pollock and began to focus on abstract painting during the 1960s, deciding that realism was just “for the movies” (Glueck, “Does Marlborough Tell Gimpel?” New York Times, March 23, 1969).