“Apart from these practical considerations [i.e. the possibilities and limitations of welded iron] I do not analyze my work intellectually. When I start to work, I wait till I feel what I want to do; and I know how I am working by the presence or lack of a rhythmic impulse. I think that to attempt to analyze the ability to draw ideas from their subconscious source would almost certainly interfere with that ability.” - Lynn Chadwick
Lynn Chadwick was born in London in 1914 and educated at the Merchant Taylor’s School. As a young man he worked as an architectural draftsman for several London architects. During WWII he served as a pilot in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. After the war he returned to the Rodney Thomas architectural firm and designed and constructed trade fair presentations. He also produced textile, furniture and architectural designs beginning in 1947. This same year, encouraged by Thomas, Chadwick constructed his first dynamic mobile sculptures. In 1951 the artist received his first solo exhibit at Gimpel Fils featuring mobile sculptures and was commissioned to create three works for The Festival of Britain as well as invited to exhibit with the American Abstract Artists Group in New York. His reputation grew when he exhibited with seven other British sculptors in the British Pavilion at the 1952 Venice Biennale and again in 1956 when he was chosen to represent England at this Biennale, winning the International Prize for Sculpture. Chadwick’s expressionistic figures, constructed in welded iron and bronze, captured the anxious mood of post war society. His lonely creatures inhabited pleated, angular shapes while capturing human/animal postures balancing on precariously thin legs. In the 1960’s the artist’s interest developed to include pairs or groups of figures which he would eventually clothe, sometimes in regal attire. Chadwick continued his gestural exploration by placing his figures in diverse positions including dance, ascending stairs and encountering the wind. Lynn Chadwick died in November of 2003 and was laid to rest on his Lypiatt Park estate.
*The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, Museum of Modern Art exhibition catalogue, New York, 1955, p. 71.