Diarchy (1957) is a dark brown sculpture by Kenneth Armitage. Its location is outside in the Laird Bell Quadrangle at the Law School of the University of Chicago, 111 E. 60th Street. Unknown (Perhaps, some readers know their name and genus.), yellow flowers partly surround this odd sculpture.
Since the sculptor or someone else painted this art, it is difficult to determine its construction material. The plaque in front does not indicate its material. However sculptures able to withstand Chicago’s winter usually consist of bronze or stainless steel.
Diarchy is six feet high, four feet wide (at its longest width) and 10 in. (depth). It stands on a rectangular, white plinth. This plinth is at least three inches wider than the sculpture.
Diarchy’s largest element is almost an octagon. Only the left and right, top, slanted sides, and the left and right, main sides appear to have equal lengths. The front and back, large pieces are smoother than other elements.
On the front there are several protrusions. At the top, two, mushroom-like protuberances that are approximately four inches in length extend skyward; each of these has a different length and weight from the other. Four, oval-like protuberances are in the upper middle; each of these also has a different size from the others. In the bottom portion are four, oblong protuberances. Each of these has a different length from the others. Spacing between objects in each set is uneven. Although there are 10 elements on the front, the balance is asymmetrical.
The rear has less detail than the front. Two, oblong protrusions are in its lower section. The upper side angles upward toward the top, two, mushroom-like protuberances.
This art has the Surrealism Style. It more closely resembles an insect than anything else. However, since no known, earthly insect has a slab-like body, six legs and mushroom-like heads, this would be an alien insect. (Close scrutiny may reveal that the two, flimsy-looking, hind legs hold the entire structure erect.)
On the other hand, Armitage may have just wanted to create an assemblage of animal (insect), mineral (octagon) and vegetable (mushroom heads). It is probably a good thing that the legs do not move and the heads do not rotate. Laid flat, this art would become an odd table.
Mr. & Mrs. Dino D’Angelo gave this sculpture as a gift to the University of Chicago in 1978. Scattered about, inside and outside, standing or reclining, static or moving, there are likely many other weird sculptures around the University of Chicago. Modern sculptors usually create abstract, fantastic and surrealistic sculptures instead of traditional, realistic art.