The Canadian Art Database
 

   
Jack Chambers


Chambers, Tracks and Gestures
[excerpts from the film by John Walker and Christopher Lowry]
© Atlantis Films Ltd. and Christopher Lowry, 1982.

"Shot on location in Spain and Canada, this visually lyrical film
provides a carefully constructed narrative of the artist's complex,
inspired life. As a young art student Chambers left the provincial
town of London, Ontario in the early 1950's and sailed to Naples.
In Spain he broke into Picasso's house to ask him for advice, and
ended up enrolling at the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. He lived in
Spain for nine years, and when he came back to Canada he brought
with him an artistic discipline as sharp as Spanish steel,
a sophisticated Argentinean wife, and a new religion; Catholicism.

The film includes the full range of Chambers' work up until his death
at the age of 47 including oil paintings, drawings and experimental
films. His effort to integrate the influences of photography and to
reconcile abstract art with the conservative technical tradition that he
embraced in Spain reflects the central conflicts that have defined
artistic expression in the 20th century. For the last nine years of his
life, Chambers struggled with leukemia, traveling as far as India in
search of a cure, yet during his last years he produced much of his
most radiant work.

Tracks and Gestures includes penetrating interviews with Jungian
analyst and writer Marion Woodman, critic and scholar Ross
Woodman, multimedia artist and co-founder of Canadian Artists
Representation (CAR) Kim Ondaatje, and the great Spanish realist
painter Antonio Lopez. It also includes original footage of
masterpieces by Goya, El Greco, Velazquez, and Rembrandt from
the Prado Museum in Madrid. The film has a delightful original
musical score, and is narrated by two of Canada's finest actors,
Ted Johns and Cedric Smith."

Christopher Lowry

Video clips © CCCA & Christopher Lowry 2005
Note: some videos may take 15-30 seconds to preload before playing.



Stewart Shaw

Shaw describes his friendship with Chambers
and their mischievous youth.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  Picasso

Chambers scales Picasso's wall to seek advice.
He is told to study art in Barcelona.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


The Royal Academy in Madrid

Chambers fails first entrance exam, succeeds with his second attempt. Stays for five years and learns to draw.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation

Chambers receives a $900 scholarship for helping to oppose the 'humiliation put upon classical art by modernism'.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


Tony Lyons and Antony Lopes

Fellow classmates describe Chambers' style
and spiritual intuition.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  London Ontario

Chambers returns to London in 1961, discovers Greg Curnoe and a thriving arts community.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


Abstract Expressionism

Chambers describes his painting process.


videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  Photographs and paintings

Chambers begins integrating photographs and memories into his paintings.

videoportrait images 320x240 start
500x375 start


Marion & Ross Woodman

The Woodmans describe meeting Jack's fiancée Olga for the first time in Spain.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  C.B.C. London

CBC footage of the London art scene
and the Nihilist Spasm Band in performance.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start

Pub Interview (to die on TV)

CBC Interview with Jack Chambers, Charles Rainey an d Greg Curnoe. Jack talks about using the medium of television to permit someone to publicly share their moment of death.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start

  Films

Excerpts from Mosaic and other experimental films.



videoportrait images 320x240 start
500x375 start

Techniques

Influenced by his film the Heart of London , Chambers explores the use of silver nitrate and collage in his work.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start

  Greg Curnoe

Curnoe discusses Chambers 'tough guy' image and sense of professionalism.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start

Formation of C.A.R.

Jack Chambers, Tony Urquhart and Kim Ondaatje challenge the National Gallery and establish Canadian Artist Representation.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  The 401

Chambers discusses his theory of Perceptualism and describes the development his renowned 401 painting.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


Victoria Hospital

Chambers discusses his working methods on the 1969 painting Victoria Hospital .

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  1970 Exhibition

The success of the 1970 exhibition and the high prices it commands stuns the artworld.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


Painting

Jack Chambers discusses his theories on life and his approach to painting.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


  Kim Ondaatje

Ondaatje talks about Chambers and his work.


videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


Final Paintings

Chambers discusses the spiritual and mystical qualities of his last works.

videoportrait images
320x240 start
500x375 start


 
Copyright ©1997, 2020. The CCCA Canadian Art Database. All rights reserved. , Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art. All rights reserved.