Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Dialogo, 1971
Virginio Ferrari
University of Chicago
Albert Pick Hall of International Studies
5825 South University Avenue

            Donated by Albert Pick Jr. and the Polk Brothers Family Foundation, this four-part bronze sculpture was created by Virginio Ferrari (born 1937) during the time he served as artist-in-residence and assistant professor of art at the University of Chicago (1966-1976). All four segments are anchored by a 14-foot square limestone base and the tallest component is 15-feet in height. While the group may be understood as a stylized depiction of two figures in “dialogue” beneath a tree and next to a low sloping landscape element, the sculpture is more famous for the shadow that it is rumored to cast at noon on May Day each year. The shadow seems to portray a sickle, resembling the one found on the flag of the Soviet Union, and a hammer, although the head is somewhat different from the Soviet symbol. Ferrari denies that he intended the imagery but every year a crowd of curious spectators gathers to witness the event.

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