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Ramfeezled Shiggers
Ramfeezled Shiggers

About the object

Included in The Pace Gallerys 1991 exhibition, John Chamberlain: New Sculpture, this colossal nine-foot freestanding structure of painted and chromium plated steel is a quintessential example of Chamberlains iconic crushed car works. Two years earlier, Beaux Arts magazine reviewed a similar exhibition, describing Chamberlain's new sculptures as made of, crushed metal interlaced with streaks of vibrant acidic color and slashes of highly reflective chromeThe compositions have grown internally complex, as a plethora of small components twist and bend snakily into almost sinuous ribbons which, with manneristic serpentine elusiveness, prevent the whole from being comprehended from any single viewpoint (The Pace Gallery press release, John Chamberlain: New Sculpture, New York, February - March 1989). Industrial, hard-hitting, flamboyant and terrific in scale, Ramfeezled Shiggers stands at the pinnacle of Chamberlains mature artistic production. It was in 1958 that Chamberlain first took the radical step of appropriating abandoned car parts. Finding an old Ford truck in the garage of a house his family was renting, the sculptor crushed the fenders with his own car then welded the remains together, forming a totally original creation. Inspired by the New York School and specifically, the free-form style of the Abstract Expressionists, Chamberlain introduced automobile metal and color and challenged prevailing ideas of sculpture as a solid mass. Across its rippled folds and through its brilliant flashes of color, we see the influence of his friends, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. Chamberlain is able to craft elegance through a medium which he describes as, the detritus of American consumerism (the artist in Julie Sylvester, Ed., John Chamberlain: A Catalogue Raisonne of the Sculpture 1954-1985, Los Angles 1986). These warped segments of trashed car parts are recycled remnants of the ultimate toy and hallmark of the American Dream.\nFascinated by the innate sound and appearance of words, Chamberlains titles frequently feature a memorable conjunction of disparate phrases or words, such as the title of this work: Ramfeezled Shiggers. The jumbled arrangement of words and sounds mimics the process to which his contorted forms are developed. Here, Chamberlain stunningly transforms auto metal into fluid volumes of energy, gesture and technicolor.


Painted and chromium plated steel


Chamberlain, John


This work is in very good and sound condition overall. The scattered signs of wear, such as scratches and losses to the paint and some oxidation in the metal are inherent to the nature of the found materials and the artist’s working method. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.


106 by 72 by 55 in. 269.2 by 182.9 by 139.7 cm.


New York, The Pace Gallery, John Chamberlain: New Sculpture, March - April 1991, pl. 3, illustrated in color 


The Pace Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in March 1991






Property from an Important Corporate Collection


1927 - 2011

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.