Lynn Chadwick: two exhibitions
A collaboration between Willer Gallery and Sotheby’s London
Lynn Chadwick at Rebecca Willer Gallery, London
3rd December 2020 – 29th January 2021
Lynn Chadwick Bronze Candelabras at Sothebys
9th November 2020 – 23rd December 2020
THIS WEEK, WILLER Gallery, in London, opened its winter exhibition, Lynn Chadwick: Exploring the Abstract, 60 Years On. Focused on a particularly fertile period in the sculptor’s career, in the early 1960s, when Chadwick was much in demand for his monumental public sculptures, it shows the much smaller, experimental, largely abstract sculptures created for his own interest, in his studio, in the converted chapel at Lypiatt Park.
Chadwick, who was born in 1914, became a sculptor almost by accident, after training as an architectural draughtsman. After serving in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy during the Second World War, he worked for some years as a designer of textiles, furniture and architecture. In 1946, alongside, he created his first mobile and began to make sculpture, developing a unique process, based on improvisation – welding together frames made of iron or steel rods to create three-dimensional drawings. The frame would then be filled with a compound of iron filings and plaster, which could be worked wet or dry and would set like stone. These were then cast in bronze.
After his meteoric success in the 1950s (in 1952 he was included in the British Council’s New Aspects of British Sculpture exhibition for the XXVI Biennale, Venice, before winning the International Prize for Sculpture at the XXVIII Biennale in 1956), the 1960s were highly prolific years, pursuing different strands of inspiration. While Chadwick’s fame rests with his large-scale figurative sculptures, these abstract studies encapsulate many of his interests, with their angular, expressive forms, their relationship to constructivist architecture and the highly varied use of different bronze patinations.
In parallel with this succinct survey of a distinct body of work, Sotheby’s, in collaboration with Rebecca Willer, is showing a selection of limited edition Lynn Chadwick bronze candlesticks and candelabras, available exclusively via private sale at Sotheby’s until 23rd December 2020. While created for use, in the domestic setting, these dramatic objects, modelled and cast from the 1950s through to the 1990s, are as much an expression of Chadwick’s jagged sensibility as his sculpture, and are included in the catalogue raisonné of his works.