general mills sculpture
May 27, 2015 • By

A new home for a curious-looking sculpture

You wouldn’t think a nearly 9-foot tall, half-ton colorful heap of twisted automobile parts would go unnoticed.

But that’s exactly what happened for nearly 24 years with “Ramfeezled Shiggers” – a curious-looking sculpture created in 1991 by world-renowned artist John Chamberlain.

john chamberlain sculpture

Displayed in what was formerly an open air courtyard at our headquarters, the sculpture led a quiet existence, tucked away from the daily view of most General Mills employees.

Lisa Melander, art curator at General Mills, says it was time to give the sculpture a new home and new life, especially since it was made by an artist whose work is on view in museums around the world.

“This is a significant sculpture by a well-known American artist who challenged the notion of what sculpture could be in his use of unconventional material,” says Lisa. “So we moved the piece to a more prominent area to give it more visibility and a place where it will get more breathing room and natural light.”

This month, it took 15 people nearly three hours to move the sculpture and granite base to its new location near the General Mills cafeteria.

general mills art

Chamberlain’s career spanned decades, but his fascination with crushed car metal in the late 1950s coincided with America’s obsession with the automobile. He took scrap metal and turned it into twisted, colorful enigmas.

Raised in Chicago, Chamberlain spent most of his working life in New York City. He died in 2011 at the age of 84.

Now that the sculpture is commanding fresh attention, one of the most common questions is, “What’s up with the name ‘Ramfeezled Shiggers?'”

general mills art

“Chamberlain used silly titles that didn’t have any meaning,” says Lisa. “He would often ask his assistants to collect miscellaneous words and then put them together haphazardly until something sounded good. He never intended for his sculptures to bear any significant meaning.”

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