Important Australian + International Fine Art
29 November 2007

Lynn Chadwick

(1914 - 2003, British)

bronze with black patina and polished bronze

30.0 cm height

edition: 8/9
numbered and inscribed with artist's monogram and number at base: C54S 8/9 PE

$60,000 - $80,000
Sold for $66,000 (inc. BP) in Auction 3 - 29 November 2007, Melbourne

Acquired directly from the artist
Private collection, New York
Private collection, Melbourne


Farr, D. and Chadwick, E., Lynn Chadwick, Sculptor: With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947 - 2005, Lund Humphries, United Kingdom, 2006, cat.C54S, p.371 (illus. another example)

Catalogue text

Like his much-admired predecessors and contemporaries such as Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti and Barbara Hepworth, Lynn Chadwick is a sculptor whose work both responds to, and transcends, its time. Born in London in 1914, Chadwick studied architectural drafting and design after his World War II service as a pilot, before emerging during the fifties as a sculptor with a singularly distinctive and dramatic style. Following two solo exhibitions at Gimpel Fils, London, he was invited to exhibit at the British Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 1952, and in 1956, was awarded the Biennale's highest honour - the prestigious International Prize for Sculpture. Over the subsequent decades Chadwick has exhibited to widespread acclaim in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo, and today is represented with works in most major international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.

Although Chadwick's first creations were - quite appropriately, given his flying experience - abstract mobiles and elegant suspended constructions of metal and glass, it is his timeless architectonic forms combining elements of the human, animal and mechanical such as Sitting Woman in Robes III, 1987, for which he is most widely acclaimed. Evolving from the brooding standing figures of the sixties, and the voluminous, striding figures of the seventies onwards, the present bronze is an impressive example of the artist's seated figure motif which, though punctuating his entire oeuvre to a certain degree, culminates at this time - most famously in his monumental Back to Venice, 1988, commissioned the following year for the XLIII Venice Biennale.

Capturing the rarefied essence of something human, universal, contemplative and at times, elegiac, Chadwick's mysterious work invariably beguiles and attracts, drawing in the viewer yet at the same time, revealing little. Betraying no real narrative or emotional timbre, indeed these remarkable figures in their anonymous strength and silent presence remain powerfully elusive. And perhaps that is the point, as the artist himself - notoriously reluctant to assign specific meaning to his work - elaborates, '...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...'1

1. Chadwick cited at