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Gordon Chandler: Inside Out

Gordon Chandler’s art starts with simple materials that might otherwise go unnoticed. In his hands, scrap metal and industrial steel drums become beautiful. He often works outside, gathering materials from salvage yards—his artworks feel at home in the open air, where the elements make the patina deeper and richer. Chandler’s art brings new energy to the PAGODA RED gallery, where we recently installed a series of his recycled steel sculptures.

“Yellow Stag” and “Yellow Kimono” by Gordon Chandler

To make his kimonos, Chandler flattens and rolls the drums, shaping found color into an extraordinary object. Dented metal painted in brilliant blues and rust reds take on the form of finely draped silk. Originally inspired by a steel drum exposed to the elements and bent in such a way as to suggest a sleeve, Chandler pries and peels back the metal to shape it. A split collar reveals a “lining” and a barrel’s ribbed edges become pleated “fabric.”

Objects that interest me most are the ones with interesting color, texture and shape. During and after collecting objects and forming ideas, I do a great deal of sorting and editing in order to make something greater than the sum of its parts. Something that tells a story. Sculpture that grabs, and also something to grab onto.

“Blue Steel Jacket” by Gordon Chandler

Chandler has been working in metal for most of his career. An accomplished sculptor, his works are included in renowned museums and private collections, and he’s enjoyed solo exhibitions around the world. In the past few years, his art has captivated a Chinese audience. Chandler’s work represents a material exchange between East and West, from the perspective of an American artist.

Gordon Chandler as a Young Artist

Gordon Chandler as a Young Artist

For me, ideas evolve from immediate and local influences that often seem random and accidental. Opportunity is all around us. Material to work with is everywhere. My material choices reflect my aesthetic at a particular moment. We look at everything as if it is a mirror. In art, we see ourselves. It’s really all we can do.

“Blue Kimono” by Gordon Chandler

To see Gordon Chandler’s works in person, visit the PAGODA RED Gallery.

Gordon Chandler

b. 1953, Springfield, MA


1997: MFA Sculpture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
1975: BFA Sculpture, Syracuse University, NY
1974: Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME



  • Current: Pagoda Red, Chicago, USA


  • Cochran Gallery, Solo Exhibition, LaGrange, GA
  • “Space/Launch: Almuni Show,” Skowhegan, NY, NY


  • “Gordon Chandler,” Solo Exhibition, Pao PU Cafe, Taipei, Taiwan, China


  • “Shanghai Gallery Selection,” World Financial Center, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China
  • “Cut/Log Contemporary Art Fair,” Bourse de Commerce, Paris, France
  • “Refined ReUse,” Solo Exhibition, The Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN


  • “Wear Objects,” Solo Exhibition, Stageback Gallery, Shanghai, China
  • “M120 Moganshan,” Shanghai, China
  • “Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood 2009,” Chesterwood, MA
  • “Southern Metal,” Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN


  • “Game Room,” Solo Exhibition, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA
  • “Game Show,” Solo Exhibition, Gallery of Functional Art, Santa Monica, CA


  • “Trashformations,” Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA


  • “Gordon Chandler,” Solo Exhibition, Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
  • “Kimonos,” Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA and New York, NY
  • “The Emory Chairs Project,” Emory University, Atlanta, GA


  • “Return Engagement,” Art from Food Packaging, Copia Museum, Napa, CA
  • “Navy Pier Walk Sculpture Exhibition,” Curated by Dave Hickey, Chicago, IL
  • “From Inspiration to Production,” Cal Poly, Pamona, CA
  • “Maquettes for Navy Pier Walk Exhibit,” Field Museum, Chicago IL


  • “On and Off the Wall,” William J. Thompson Street Gallery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA


  • “Alumni Invitational Exhibition,” University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA


  • “Celebrating The Creative Spirit: Contemporary Southeastern Furniture,” On tour through 2001, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL


  • “From the Ground Up,” Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY
  • “Hello Again: A New Wave of Recycled Art & Design,” Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA


  • “Beyond Function,” Contemporary Southeastern Crafts, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, GA


  • “Recycle, Reuse, Recreate,” February 1995 thru April 1997, Traveling African Museum Tour Exhibition
  • “A Sampler: 12 Georgia Artists,” Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA


  • “Benchworks,” Knoxville World Fair Grounds, Knoxville, TN


  • “Bench Marks,” Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY


  • “Mental Metal II,” National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN


  • “Four Georgia Art Furniture Makers,” Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA


  • “Red Clay Survey,” Huntsville Museum of Arts, Huntsville, AL
  • “Gotham City Show,” CNN Center, Atlanta, GA


  • Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA
  • Josh Klenbort and Susie Junker, Shanghai, China
  • Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI
  • Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
  • National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN
  • Walter and Ann Nathan, Chicago, IL
  • Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA
  • Roger Brown, La Conchita, CA
  • Elton John, Atlanta, GA
  • Runnymede Sculpture Farm, Woodside, CA


  • 2010 “General Knox” commissioned piece, Otis, MA
  • 2009 University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA
  • 2001 Fulton County Arts Council, Atlanta, GA
  • 1994 Wild Horse Saloon, Nashville, TN
  • 1990 Omni Building, Reckson Associates, Uniondale, Nassau County, NY
  • 1989 Bulova Building, Blumenfeld Development, Jackson Heights, NY


  • New York Times, January 31, 2015
  • Audi Magazine, June 2010
  • Boston Globe, August 2009
  • Artnet Magazine, Artnet Design, 2008
  • Berkshire Life, September 2007
  • Sculpture Magazine, July 2007
  • Art and Antiques, September 2005
  • Forbes Magazine, November 1998
  • Southern Homes, September 1991
  • Chicago Tribune, October 2, 1994
  • Construction Equipment Magazine, February 1990
  • Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, March 1994
  • Chicago Tribune, August 26, 1990
  • Ambiente Magazine, Germany, June1991
  • Art in America, September 1992
  • Chicago Sun-Times, November 1999

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