Lynn Chadwick

 
Titre: Standing Woman
Technique: Bronze
Signé(e) et daté(e): 1983 - Ed. 9 ex.
Dimension: H. 28 cm
Provenance:

Collection particulière, Belgique 

Prix: Contactez-nous
 

Instantly recognisable, Chadwick's figures are a defining three-dimensional symbol of post-war British art; Chadwick sought to encompass a new modern aesthetic in a world rebuilding itself after the turmoil of the Second World War. A key member of Herbert Read's ‘Geometry of Fear' generation, Chadwick, who had participated in the age-defining Festival of Britain in 1951, was selected to represent his country in the New Aspects of British Sculpture show at the Venice Biennale in 1952 alongside his artist contemporaries, later winning the International Grand Prix for Sculpture at Venice in 1956 over Alberto Giacometti. Alan Bowness expressed to the Observer in June 1956, in response to Chadwick's exhibition at Venice that year, 'Chadwick has been one of the revelations of the Biennale. This Biennale award marks the emergence of Lynn Chadwick as a figure of international artistic importance' (Alan Bowness, 'The Venice Biennale', Observer, 24 June 1956, in Dennis Farr, Lynn Chadwick, London, 2003, p. 44).

Rigid in stature, as if supported by a geometric skeleton, Chadwick's female figure in the present work appears to be wearing armour-like garments, bridging the gap between Henry Moore's 1940s drapery in his Shelter Drawings and the progressive cubist abstraction of the European milieu. Capturing the contemporary zeitgeist of artistic rebellion after World War Two, Chadwick's figures are animated although static, appearing upright, alert and contemplative. Gazing out serenely, Chadwick's figure is executed in a figurative abstract style and cast in bronze, a medium which the artist began utilising in the late 1950s. Creating his own unique technique of constructing metal frames for his figures, Chadwick would fill the varying planes with stolit, a medium applied like plaster to his skeletal frames. Cast in bronze, Chadwick worked first hand on these sculptural works at his foundry at Lypiatt Studio in Gloucestershire. Working the sculpture intensely from the inside out, Chadwick remarked ‘the iron frames of the construction still delineate the mass and act as lines of tension' (the artist's statement for The New Decade, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1955).

Synthesising his artistic vocabulary in his later work and distilling shape and form to a geometric purity, Chadwick's later figures are triangular in essence, their shoulders atop with a pyramid-like head with the shape reflected in their tessellated triangular body armour and the slope of their shoulders and cloaks. Evident in the present work and emphasised by the seated nature of the female figure, as the art critic Ken Johnson notes, ‘In the 1950s [Chadwick] developed a spiky vocabulary of skeletal lines and rough planes organized into generalized images of people or animals that evoked feelings of pain, rage and fear' (Ken Johnson, ‘Lynn Chadwick, a Sculptor, Is Dead at 88,' The New York Times, 4 May 2003). Conveying the lively essence of his static figures through the heavy medium of bronze, Chadwick asserted ‘The important thing in my figures is always the attitude- what the figures are expressing through their actual stance. They talk, as it were, and this is something a lot of people don't understand' (the artist, in Barrie Gavin Interviews, HTV West, 1991). 

 

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